While I had visions of a spoof of The Fourth Sex in my head, Nolan has put together a fairly taught mystery novel which is wholly unfair of her. I didn’t expect to have to pay attention! But about the point where we learn that the Swedish Mafia runs the gay bars in the town and the milk trade, I finally caught up with the idea that I was actually going to have to be a little more invested in this story than I originally expected. ^_^
Maxie Mainwaring, debutante and playgirl in Bay City, daughter of the dairy company Mainwarings, is cut off by her mother after a…small indiscretion at a meeting of the Daughter of the American Pioneers Luncheon and for the first time in her life, has to actual work. In between her not-terribly-successful attempts at budgeting and finding a job, Maxie finds herself following mysterious women, falling for a gangster, dealing with police raids at the local gay watering hole and learning who was responsible for stealing the children’s milk at the local youth center. And if all this wasn’t enough, Maxie finds herself at odds with her on-again off-again girlfriend, Pamela, and the drama of her fellow residents of the Magdalena Arms.
If this sounds like at lot for one book – it was. And most of it ties in pretty neatly at the end. There were a few zingers though, which I won’t spoil.
Unlike Bobbie and Lois, Maxie isn’t naive about love, or lesbian life. Her naivete was firmly about the “get a job to pay the bills” life most people have, and this is strung out pretty far, as Lois’ and Bobby’s naivete were. They don’t grow ’em very sharp in Bay City, apparently. ^_^ But for a summer read with action, adventure, thrills and a lot of girls kissing and having pulp-y sex, this was a really fun book. The book equivalent of a County Fair, with lots of colors, sound, flavors and fireworks at the end, ^_^
Overall – 8
I’ve already asked Ms. Nolan about the possibility of a (vaguely alluded to) military story, but she commented that the next one in the series is probably going to be the secret life of the Bay City lesbian bartender. I can wait. These books are a blast. And perfect for summer reading. ^_^