Step into the seductive world of May Dugas, who uses charm and guile to ascend society's ranks until a Pinkerton detective threatens to unravel her world.
It’s 1887, and eighteen-year-old May Dugas has ventured to Chicago in hopes of earning enough money to support her family. But when circumstances force her to take up residence in the city’s most infamous bordello, she uses her feminine wiles to extract not only sidelong glances but also large sums of money from the men she encounters. Insinuating herself into high society, May lands a well-to-do fiancé—until, that is, a Pinkerton detective named Reed Doherty intervenes.
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Praise for PARLOR GAMES
One of “12 Marvelous Novels about the Early 20th Century."
“Based on a true story, Biaggio re-creates the deliciously fabulous foibles and follies of a woman born into hardscrabble circumstances but determined to make her way in the world… Sheer, frenetic fun.”
~ Margaret Flanagan, Booklist Review
“Based on a true story, Biaggio’s narrative provides an engaging glimpse into a character who categorically eludes our attempts to define her.”
~ Kirkus Reviews
“Come meet May Dugas, a con artist of the highest order. You’ll be swept up by her delicious voice from the first page of Parlor Games, so prepare to be joyously fleeced. This jaunty tale through the life of a woman who keeps one step ahead of a dogged Pinkerton agent of the law is a true pleasure, something like munching your way through a box of chocolates all by yourself. Curl up, settle in for a lovely read.”
~ Kate Alcott, New York Times bestselling author of THE DRESSMAKER
“Parlor Games is a captivating tale narrated by the irresistible and deliciously unreliable con-woman May Dugas. Her escapades, which span the Gilded Age right through the turn of the century, immediately transport the reader to a bygone era. It’s a wildly entertaining and constantly surprising ride.”
~ Daisy Goodwin, New York Times bestselling author of AMERICAN HEIRESS
“Like Becky Sharp from Vanity Fair before her, May Dugas—delightfully unrepentant—charms with tantalizing glimpses of her con games as she cheats her way from poverty into opulence.”
~ Eva Stachniak, author of THE WINTER PALACE
“Parlor Games is both playful and deeply serious in its portrayal of one determined woman's battle to make her way in a man's world. You'll be cheering for May Dugas as she cons her way across the continents. She's a terrific creation.”
~ Matt Rees, author of MOZART'S LAST ARIA
And about the audio version:
“It's 1917, and May Dugas is on trial for extortion, but she's confident that she'll win the day. Her trial affords May the opportunity to reminisce about the love affairs and money-making schemes—often one and the same—she has had throughout her life. Narrator Leslie Carroll flawlessly captures May's charm, as well as her devil-may-care attitude. May is a compelling character, and Carroll makes her all the more so, while also doing a wonderful job of giving unique voices to the other characters—men and women alike. This story of Gilded Age schemes is delightfully fun, and Carroll's narration is the perfect complement.”
~ J.L.K. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award ©
Number One book on the Goodreads List, Historical Fiction and Nonfiction Books That Should be Movies.
If you enjoyed PARLOR GAMES, you might want to check out my recommendations for "The Best Books About Wily, Take-Charge Women" at Shepherd.com.
See photos about PARLOR GAMES and May's travel on my Pinterest page.
See Goodreads review of PARLOR GAMES here.