The Pinkertons branded her a crafty blackmailer, but to her Dutch Baron husband she was the most glamorous woman to grace Europe’s shores. Was the real May Dugas a cold-hearted enchantress, an able provider for her poor family, or a free-spirited globe-trotter? PARLOR GAMES is based on the true story of the woman who made headlines not only in her Michigan hometown, but also in New York and London.
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Available in paperback, audio, and ebook.
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Bookshop (10% of sales go to indie bookstores)
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Here's an audio clip. Buy the audiobook at Libro.fm or at Amazon.
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 or at " target="_blank">Bookshop.org.
See photos about PARLOR GAMES and May's travel on my Pinterest page.
See Goodreads review of PARLOR GAMES here.