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Dolly Dingle, lesbian landlady
Nolan, Monica.

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Physical Description:
247 pages ; 21 cm.
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), Kay (Dolly's old friend), Arlene (buxom theater designer), Ramona (former bad girl). When the high-spirited residents learn of a scheme to shut down their beloved rooming house, they rally together to raise funds.
Subject Term:
Pub Date:
Kensington Books, [2014]


Home Location
Material Type
Shelf Number
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book NOLAN
Central - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book NOLAN
Walter - Houston Public Library Adult Fiction Book NOLAN

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Dolly Dingle is too old to be closing down bars and waking up in strange beds. It's time she focused on her showbiz career and moved out of her dilapidated rooming house. Dolly's plans are derailed, however, when her landlady breaks her hip. It's up to Dolly to keep the Magdalena Arms Residence for Women running smoothly while Mrs. DeWitt recuperates. As the holidays approach, Dolly finds herself distracted by two very different girls and organises a Christmas variety show to save the Arms. And she may find the girl of her dreams was only a floor away all along..

Author Notes

Monica Nolan has written about film and culture for Release Print, Bitch: Feminist Response to Pop Culture, Lambda Literary , and the San Francisco Chronicle . Her short story collection, The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories (co-authored with Alisa Surkis), was nominated for a Lambda Award. She lives in San Francisco and blogs about lesbian pulp fiction at

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Nolan (Maxine Mainwaring, Lesbian Dilettante, 2013) presents a simple tale that is simply lovely, campy fun. It features Dolly, a midthirties actress turned landlady, versus Mrs. Putney-Potter, who is threatening to destroy the Magdalena Arms, a rooming house that has been sheltering young women for decades. The house needs repair, so when the previous landlady, Mrs. DeWitt, is injured, longtime tenant Dolly steps up. Much of the pleasure here is found in seeing the transformation of the decrepit mansion into a building of renovated beauty. Windows shine, front-door brass gleams, ceilings and repaired walls sport fresh paint, lobby tile is mended, the elevator again works, and breakfasts are reinvented with homemade treats. Delightful, too, are the occasional love scenes, such as when Dolly's hands roved over the girl's palpitating body like a gang of bandits over the Sicilian countryside. If only Dolly could find true love, ascertain Mrs. Putney-Potter's schemes, repay the tax fund she had secretly appropriated for repairs oops! This PG-rated lesbian romp shamelessly, even gleefully, and certainly nostalgically echoes Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney putting on a show and It's a Wonderful Life.--Scott, Whitney Copyright 2014 Booklist

Publisher's Weekly Review

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. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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