cover image Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary

Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary

Monica Nolan, . . Kensington, $14 (250pp) ISBN 978-0-7582-1422-5

Unabashedly campy and titillating, Nolan's debut novel (after short story collection The Big Book of Lesbian Horse Stories ) is a tale of 1950s lesbian career girls loose in the big city. Innocent suburban cheerleader Lois Lenz is thrilled when her guidance counselor suggests she forgo junior college and take a secretarial position in nearby Bay City. Leaving behind Faye, her best friend and kissing practice partner, Lois rents a room at the Magdalena Arms, a once reputable boarding house for career girls that has fallen into disrepair. As the personal secretary to the cutthroat ad exec Mrs. Pierson, Lois must juggle her new career with her new friends and their search for the truth behind the disappearance of the girl who once lived in Lois's room. Lois eventually partakes in a few Sapphic trysts before realizing her true “deviant” nature (as she puts it). Nolan effortlessly parodies the world of the career girl and tries to do for the growing lesbian pulp genre what Hammett and Chandler did for the private dick novels of the 1940s. While its appeal will be limited, this is a must-read for any fan of steamy pulp fiction. (Aug.)