At the Magdalena Arms Residence for Women, desires are awakened, passions run hot, and love might be waiting just a few doors away. . .
Dorian "Dolly" Dingle has been footloose and flighty for long enough. At last, she's resolved to focus on her showbiz career and move out of the Magdalena Arms. Then landlady Mrs. DeWitt breaks her hip, and Dolly reluctantly agrees to fill in as temporary housemother. While she grapples with home repairs and holiday preparations, Dolly tends to the needs of her diverse tenants, including:
Jackie – The aspiring actress always puts on an impressive performance
Kay – Dolly's old friend is an accomplished clarinetist--and she's hoping they'll make sweet music together. . .
Arlene – She's a buxom theater designer with some very dramatic secrets
Ramona – The former bad girl is back in Bay City and making tongues wag again
When the high-spirited residents learn of a scheme to shut down their beloved rooming house, they rally together to raise funds. Can a Christmas variety show save the only home Dolly has ever known? And will she finally find the perfect girl to occupy her heart?
Nolan offers yet another witty send-up of midcentury pulp paperbacks (after Maxie Mainwaring, Lesbian Dilettante), here taking readers to 1960s San Francisco and the down-at-the-heels boardinghouse Magdalena Arms. When landlady Mrs. DeWitt slips, falls, and ends up in the hospital, boarder and aspiring actress Dorian "Dolly" Dingle takes responsibility for the property in her absence. From repairing the radiators to taking in new boarders, Dolly is determined to keep the Arms afloat despite the disdain of trustee Mrs. Putney-Porter, who seems determined to have the aging building shut down. As Dolly does her best to raise money for additional repairs, she faces some difficult choices concerning her love interests. The mysterious and pretty Arlene is attracted to her, but Dolly is surprised to find herself more enamored of Kay, an upbeat clarinet player. And even as Dolly feels the pressure to find a new acting job, she still worries that the Magdalena Arms will not survive without her help. Added Yuletide trimmings the story is set around Christmastime make for a welcome addition to the established formula of Nolan's previous books: steamy romance, friendship, and a touch of mystery.
Customer ReviewsSee All
'Dolly Dingle' is exactly what you'd expect if you've read Nolan's previous books, in particular "Maxie Mainwaring.' But times are changing, and civil rights and women's lib have come to the Magdalena Arms. Not that they are presented in heavy-handed fashion: that is not Nolan's style. Instead, we have the landlady, Mrs DeWitt, breaking her hip and one of her tenants, over-the-hill actress Dolly, taking over. The usual hijinks ensue as Dolly looks after her eccentric tenants and battles evil developers. Everything is resolved in time for Christmas. This is a very warm-hearted book, very suitable if you're looking for some seasonal fare with no gore or tragedy.