Parlor Games



✈ [PDF / Epub] ✅ Parlor Games By Maryka Biaggio ✸ – E17streets4all.co.uk A sweeping historical novel based on the true story of a beautiful con artist whose turn of the century escapades take her around the world as she s doggedly pursued by a Pinkerton Agency detective Th A sweeping historical novel based on the true story of a beautiful con artist whose turn of the century escapades take her around the world as she s doggedly pursued by a Pinkerton Agency detective The novel opens inwith our cunning protagonist, May Dugas, standing trial for extortion As the trial unfolds, May tells her version of events In , at the tender age of eighteen, May ventures to Chicago in hopes of earning enough money to support her family Circumstances force her to take up residence at the city s most infamous bordello, but May soon learns to employ her considerable feminine wiles to extract not only sidelong looks but also large sums of money from the men she encounters Insinuating herself into Chicago s high society, May lands a well to do fianc until, that is, a Pinkerton Agency detective named Reed Doherty intervenes and summarily foils the engagement Unflappable May quickly rebounds, elevating seduction and social climbing to an art form as she travels the world, eventually marrying a wealthy Dutch Baron Unfortunately, Reed Doherty is never far behind and continues to track May in a delicious cat and mouse game as the newly minted Baroness s misadventures take her from San Francisco to Shanghai to London and points in between The Pinkerton Agency really did dub May the Most Dangerous Woman, branding her a crafty blackmailer and ruthless seductress To many, though, she was the most glamorous woman to grace high society Was the real May Dugas a cold hearted swindler or simply a resourceful provider for her poor family As the narrative bounces back and forth between the trial taking place inand May s devious but undeniably entertaining path to the courtroom hoodwinking and waltzing her way through the gilded age and into the twentieth century we re left to ponder her guilt as we move closer to finding out what fate ultimately has in store for our irresistible adventuress.Parlor Games

Maryka Biaggio, PhD is a psychology professor turned novelist who specializes in historical fiction based on real people She enjoys the challenge of starting with actual figures and dramatizing their lives figuring out what motivated them to behave as they did, studying how the cultural and historical context may have influenced them, and recreating a sense of their emotional world through dialogue and action Doubleday published her debut novel, PARLOR GAMES, in EDEN WAITS, based on the true story of a utopian community founded in the s, was published by Sunbury Press in EDEN WAITS was an Editors Choice in the February issue of Historical Novels ReviewHer fiction has won Willamette Writers, Oregon Writers Colony, and La Belle Lettre awards She prides herself on crafting carefully researched and realistic fiction She travels extensively, is an avid opera fan, and enjoys gardening, art films, and, of course, great fiction She lives in Portland, Oregon, that edgy green gem of the Pacific Northwest Visit her website at marykabiaggio.

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    If you re looking for a CBR and CBZ reader residence at the city s most infamous bordello, but May soon learns to employ her considerable feminine wiles to extract not only sidelong looks but also large sums of money from the men she encounters Insinuating herself into Chicago s high society, May lands a well to do fianc until, that is, a Pinkerton Agency detective named Reed Doherty intervenes and summarily foils the engagement Unflappable May quickly rebounds, elevating seduction and social climbing to an art form as she travels the world, eventually marrying a wealthy Dutch Baron Unfortunately, Reed Doherty is never far behind and continues to track May in a delicious cat and mouse game as the newly minted Baroness s misadventures take her from San Francisco to Shanghai to London and points in between The Pinkerton Agency really did dub May the Most Dangerous Woman, branding her a crafty blackmailer and ruthless seductress To many, though, she was the most glamorous woman to grace high society Was the real May Dugas a cold hearted swindler or simply a resourceful provider for her poor family As the narrative bounces back and forth between the trial taking place inand May s devious but undeniably entertaining path to the courtroom hoodwinking and waltzing her way through the gilded age and into the twentieth century we re left to ponder her guilt as we move closer to finding out what fate ultimately has in store for our irresistible adventuress."/>
  • Paperback
  • 400 pages
  • Parlor Games
  • Maryka Biaggio
  • English
  • 11 August 2018
  • 0307950891

10 thoughts on “Parlor Games

  1. says:

    I just loved this book Loved, loved, loved It was flippant and fun, total escapism, with a minxy heroine I adored from the first page, a long list of exotic locales to divert, and piles of dramatic intrigue to keep me engaged.Set in the late 1880s through 1910s, the story follows May Dugas, a small town Michigan girl with a foxy figure, clever mind, and an impatience with ordinary life Told in first person, May s voice is sophisticated, wily, artificially innocent, glib The novel opens in I just loved this book Loved, loved, loved It was flippant and fun, total escapism, with a minxy heroine I adored from the first page, a long list of exotic locales to divert, and piles of dramatic intrigue to keep me engaged.Set in the late 1880s through 1910s, the story follows May Dugas, a small town Michigan girl with a foxy figure, clever mind, and an impatience with ordinary life Told in first person, May s voice is sophisticated, wily, artificially innocent, glib The novel opens in 1917, with May on trial, accused of swindlingthan 50,000 from a former friend, Miss Frank Shaver Returned to her childhood hometown of Menominee, Michigan, May has been dubbed by the Pinkertons as the most dangerous woman in America And without having murdered a soul Notorious, rich, and titled she s a baroness now , May tells the reader the truth of how she came to that point I didn t put truth in quotes because I ve decided she s sharing the truth I m like her innumerable suitors, smitten past the point of reason May reminded me of Lola Montez, another notorious adventuress with lovers and scandals trailing behind her like the train on her dress May s story strains credulity until you remember, like Ms Montez, May was a real woman Biaggio does a wonderful job of making May s escapades seem feasible, albeit excessive, and I was with her every ill timed, poorly conceived, and ambitiously bold step of the way.The other characters in the book especially the men are rather flat and I don t think that s a bad thing , but that s to be expected with May She s the star of her own story, and with good reason men are drawn to her for same reasons we are Biaggio balances May s self centered ruminations, justifications, and pep talks with lovely tidbits and details about the era, setting, clothes, and s Biaggio doesn t stint on describing May s flashy jewels and I could practically see them winking at me from between the lines The novel alternates with the trial and May s account of her life I will say, I ve recently tired of dual story lines, especially when they break up the flow and action of the story, but in this case, I actually enjoyed the two timelines Both lines are fascinating, and thankfully Biaggio ends each chapter neatly, with no wild cliffhangers which means I can go into the new chapter relatively relaxed Relatively, as overall, I couldn t stop mentally screaming, So how does it all end for May I think this would make a wonderful audiobook due to the first person narration and May s lively tone Despite May s sexual prowess, this book is light on tawdry details, so no need to worry about detailed or flowery descriptions of her and her lovers In the end, this was a straight up enjoyable novel the kind of book that sucked me in, made me miss my subway stops, and had me reading as I walked up the sidewalk home If you like your hist fic with a hint of grandeur and a heavy dollop of drama, consider this

  2. says:

    3.5 starsIn 1917 May Dugas was placed on trial for extortion She was considered at the time as one of the most dangerous women in the world by the Pinkerton Detective Agency Born in a small village north west of Chicago in 1869 into an ordinary family, she charmed her way into high society in America and Europe Beautiful, resourceful, cunning, May used all her wiles to seduce men and gain an advantage in life Narrated by May Parlor Games opens in 1917 with May on trial, with flashbacks in al 3.5 starsIn 1917 May Dugas was placed on trial for extortion She was considered at the time as one of the most dangerous women in the world by the Pinkerton Detective Agency Born in a small village north west of Chicago in 1869 into an ordinary family, she charmed her way into high society in America and Europe Beautiful, resourceful, cunning, May used all her wiles to seduce men and gain an advantage in life Narrated by May Parlor Games opens in 1917 with May on trial, with flashbacks in alternating chapters to her earlier life Throughout the years and across the world, May was tracked by Pinkerton Agency detective Reed Dougherty, determined to catch her out and bring her to justice.Though I did find May Dugas and her exploits, interesting, even entertaining, I found her character ultimately, unlikable The writing style and prose were wonderful, with the first person narrative, engaging I wanted to find May charmingly adventurous, instead I found her disconcertingly self absorbed and opportunistic Always looking for a man to financially benefit her life, travelling from one country to another taking lovers, she came across to me asmercenary than daring or audacious.I think this aptly sums up May s attitudeAnd after all, men are not terribly difficult to manage They are rather like dogs Roll them on their back and convince them you re master and you ve tamed them Readers who don t necessarily need to like the main character or need an emotional investment in the main character, will enjoy this story of May Dugas It is well written, easy to read and entertaining ARC courtesy of Random House Doubleday via Edelweiss

  3. says:

    Where I got the book purchased fromMaryka is a friend.I jumped on this novel, friend or no friend, because of the cover a gorgeous piece of design and the era Plus, the promise of naughty goings on in Chicago parlor houses, which were the better brothels.Alas, the blurb is massively deceptive on that point This is, in fact, biographical fiction covering thirty years in the life of May Dugas, who was a real person She starts out as a girl from a very ordinary family in Menominee, in Where I got the book purchased fromMaryka is a friend.I jumped on this novel, friend or no friend, because of the cover a gorgeous piece of design and the era Plus, the promise of naughty goings on in Chicago parlor houses, which were the better brothels.Alas, the blurb is massively deceptive on that point This is, in fact, biographical fiction covering thirty years in the life of May Dugas, who was a real person She starts out as a girl from a very ordinary family in Menominee, in the upper peninsula of Michigan Her amorous nature gets her into trouble that serves as her excuse for going to Chicago, and it s while she s trying to survive in the big city that her stint in a parlor house comes in, but it s way too short Which is a pity because the story of how May survives in Chicago and why she has to leave could easily fill a novel, and includes a scene that for me was the highlight of the book.But in real life May got up to a whole lot , and Parlor Games follows her career The story of May s life is framed by a court case in 1917, when May was sued by a former friend but that doesn t stop it from being episodic, as you d expect in the case of an adventuress who periodically has to pick up and start again I couldn t help liking May, and I loved the way she since she s telling the story always slants it slightly so she s in her best light, leaving the court case to cast doubt on the reliability of her narrative If you believe May, nothing is entirely her fault a very creditable character flaw, and one with which I m well acquainted.There were some lovely scenes and well paced dialogue, and if you re a fan of life story fiction you ll enjoy the changes of location and May s ability to pull herself out of one situation after another I prefer a novel with a stronger center, a definite source of conflict or desire, so for me this is a 3.5 star read for the quality of the writing and the clarity of the plotting

  4. says:

    The settings in Parlor Games were amazing London, New York, Shanghai, etc., but the same Pinkerton Agency detective keeps tracking May down in these cities How It didn t seem reasonable to me Maybe I can t imagine finding people in the years before the internet May changed her name and moved frequently but Detective Doherty kept showing up at inopportune times Just in time to foil her plans I wasn t able to connect with May I would have liked to have understood her better, to hear her t The settings in Parlor Games were amazing London, New York, Shanghai, etc., but the same Pinkerton Agency detective keeps tracking May down in these cities How It didn t seem reasonable to me Maybe I can t imagine finding people in the years before the internet May changed her name and moved frequently but Detective Doherty kept showing up at inopportune times Just in time to foil her plans I wasn t able to connect with May I would have liked to have understood her better, to hear her thoughts and justifications for her actions I may have liked this bookif I had a clue about May s motives Is she trying to help support her family by conning and conniving her way through life That reason didn t hold up for me as she treats her family members shabbily at best.Parlor Games did contain enjoyable sections I was intrigued by the extortion trial Those were my favorite parts of the book and the only place I felt I was learning a bitabout the characters That was what I wantedof I loved the idea of this book because I love learning about history and real historical characters Unfortunately this book fell flat for me.Parlor Games was apparently inspired by the real life of May Dugas I m wondering if a nonfiction account would work better for me Sadly, this book did not

  5. says:

    This is extremely well written and engaging The narrative is first person, but you never feel as though you are missing out on anything In a lot of cases, in first person narrative, the view is too restricted Not so in this.It goes from a trial and we are left very much in suspense over what exactly is going on btw Frank and her and this trial and the heroine s past misdeeds.I lost interest halfway through, however, when I realized the woman is well, to put it bluntly, another whore I don This is extremely well written and engaging The narrative is first person, but you never feel as though you are missing out on anything In a lot of cases, in first person narrative, the view is too restricted Not so in this.It goes from a trial and we are left very much in suspense over what exactly is going on btw Frank and her and this trial and the heroine s past misdeeds.I lost interest halfway through, however, when I realized the woman is well, to put it bluntly, another whore I don t find whores that interesting any Simply read too many whore books I was expectingcrime and excitement than selling her body and lying and trying to nab a rich husband.So I am disappointed The woman travels from Chicago to San Fran to China, sleeping with men, making them spend money on her, and trying to nab a rich one in marriage I didn t grow to like her at all, and for me to sit down and enjoy a book, I have to somewhat like the heroine or at least sympathize with her By the time I hit the halfway point, I didn t care what she did next or what man she slept with.However, I liked the author s writing style voice, and I would readwork by her in the future I just didn t like this particular character

  6. says:

    I m not a fan of prostitution, con games, lying, Michigan or books that use the phrase dear Reader, This novel features all of that, yet our flawed heroine is so engaging, and so honest, despite her obvious manipulation, that I really enjoyed this book It s a novelized version of a real life con artist May Dugas I don t want to give too much away, but it follows the journey of May, who moves to Chicago to have the child of her first boyfriend from Michigan and plans to give it up for adopti I m not a fan of prostitution, con games, lying, Michigan or books that use the phrase dear Reader, This novel features all of that, yet our flawed heroine is so engaging, and so honest, despite her obvious manipulation, that I really enjoyed this book It s a novelized version of a real life con artist May Dugas I don t want to give too much away, but it follows the journey of May, who moves to Chicago to have the child of her first boyfriend from Michigan and plans to give it up for adoption before she comes back to marry him He gives her some funds, and she expects to be gone for 10 months or so But on the train, May gets her period and whoops since she s already on her way, she might as well stay Well, her funds run out, and getting men to buy her dinner becomesdifficult What can May do, esp since she has no interest in moving back to Michigan May innocently engages in prostitution, and uses men, sex and the appearance of wealth and comfort to travel all over the world San Francisco, China, Japan, London, Cairo, New York She meets men, falls in love, marries, and lives with a husband, and none of the men are the same This was my favorite sentence from the book All I ever wanted was a respectable and happy life Yes, I admit it, I desired the ease that wealth brings, but not money simply for money s sake money so that I might enjoy travel, fine dining and exotic sights in the company of someone I loved.Fans of The Great Gatsby might also like this novel

  7. says:

    Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio, published by Doubleday.Category Fiction LiteratureThe reader may take this as fiction literature surrounded by a true story, or a true story surrounded by fiction literature, regardless it is a fascinating book.This is the story of May Dugasv, in the book May Dugas, a wily woman belonging to the 1900 s Although little is know of May Dugasv, Maryka Biaggio takes what is known and weaves a tale of a con artist extraordinaire.The story is told with the exploits Parlor Games by Maryka Biaggio, published by Doubleday.Category Fiction LiteratureThe reader may take this as fiction literature surrounded by a true story, or a true story surrounded by fiction literature, regardless it is a fascinating book.This is the story of May Dugasv, in the book May Dugas, a wily woman belonging to the 1900 s Although little is know of May Dugasv, Maryka Biaggio takes what is known and weaves a tale of a con artist extraordinaire.The story is told with the exploits of May interspersed with her trial for extortion.May, as a teen, knew that she had high aspirations as she left her small town for Chicago She expected to find a handsome and rich man, only to find herself, in desperation, a prostitute in a high end bordello She uses her experience and savvy to forge a better life for herself May becomes involved with several men that can provide her with the riches and position she sorely sought However, with each amorous affair she is foiled by Reed Dougherty of the Pinkerton Detective Agency She is haunted by him as Jean Valjean was haunted by Javert in Les Miserables.A wonderful story that will keep the reader wondering, until the very end, how and if May will extradite herself from her situation A story of a very cunning woman that uses everyone to her advantage and makes them feel good about it The book does contain some mild sexual content but it is mostly left up to the reader s imagination

  8. says:

    I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this book I got a message asking me if I would be interested in this book to review, as I also loved American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin review here.At 352 pages, I honestly thought that it would be a pretty quick read for me However, the book was quite detailed, and I found myself completely pulled into the story of May, and all her little adventures so it took me longer than expected, but it was worth every second The part I really enjoyed, was that whi I was amazed at how much I enjoyed this book I got a message asking me if I would be interested in this book to review, as I also loved American Heiress by Daisy Goodwin review here.At 352 pages, I honestly thought that it would be a pretty quick read for me However, the book was quite detailed, and I found myself completely pulled into the story of May, and all her little adventures so it took me longer than expected, but it was worth every second The part I really enjoyed, was that while this book is a work of fiction, the story is based on a real person I found this enthralling, and a nice little addition at the end of the story The book starts out with May asking you, the reader, to go through her story and determine if she did any wrong, and to form your own opinions based on a life of cirmcumstances and events I found that this immediately pulled me into the tale and made me thinkabout the events on the pages, rather than devouring another book at rapid speed Mays adventures span continents, and many many people Chicago New York London Hong Kong Toyko And others So many destinations, and written with such detail it was quite easy to imagine you where there living it along with her, and seeing the sites It does span her life, but frequently brings you back to the trial she is in the midst of, where she is defendant against an old friend of hers, Frank Shaver Some people find these little jolts of time hard to comprehend, but I found that in this book they made perfect sense and happened at approprate times, which not many authors manage The only issue I had, was the charges against May that her friend bought for all the money While discussed at length, from Franks point of view during the trial, nothing is said from May s point of view about those actual events In the story of her live, anything that involved Frank is skimmed over, and not discussed much from Mays viewpoint, so it s kind of hard to be the Judge and Jury like she is asking Unless of course you assume she was doing to Frank what she did to countless menwell, then the answer is pretty obvious I enjoyed it I wouldn t call her a likeable heroine, but a very enjoyable book One of few where you find you don t really like any of the characters, but you are still drawn in just the same, and completely satisfied when it is over Happy, content, and thoughtfull on all that happened This is Maryka Biaggio s first work of ficton, but I do hope she writes , and I would love to read them

  9. says:

    I received this ARC courtesy of Doubleday.Parlor Games is the story of May Dugas told as if May was writing the story herself I will admit, going into the book I didn t realize May was a real person The book centers around a trial and the life of May is told as the trial unfolds It s written as a first person narrative, but it isn t annoying or self indulging I felt like I was sitting down listening to the story and dying to know what happens It did start off somewhat slow just because the I received this ARC courtesy of Doubleday.Parlor Games is the story of May Dugas told as if May was writing the story herself I will admit, going into the book I didn t realize May was a real person The book centers around a trial and the life of May is told as the trial unfolds It s written as a first person narrative, but it isn t annoying or self indulging I felt like I was sitting down listening to the story and dying to know what happens It did start off somewhat slow just because the back and forth between the trial and the life story of May didn t really pull me in at first There wasn t enough story told of one before it jumped back to the other I understand that was to build suspense, but it was too much suspense and left me not really into the story It did eventually pick up once I got into the story enough to be engaged and want to know what happens next The other place it lost me was the ending At the point in the book where it ended, I neededto finish the story of May It felt like too much time was spent in other places that should have been saved for the ending and the conclusion of what happened to her at that point I am not a fan of this in series books so I certainly don t like it in a stand alone Especially once you find out May is a real person and there seem to be little to no books written on her, you want her book to have a real ending.Other than those two issues, I did like the story of May I think that it is fascinating how she lived and how she kind of made her own rules and bent the existing rules when necessary to get her way This book didn t drag at all and really made me want to learnabout her, which is always a requirement for a historical fiction read in my opinion It s a good read and there were many moments where I was annoyed with my schedule because I wanted to sit down to finish the book which is why I NEED a good ending I think that anyone who is interested in hearing a story of a woman who is a little bit outlaw and a lot of her own boss will like this one

  10. says:

    I won Parlor Games, a book by Maryka Biaggio, in a Goodreads giveaway I started reading it as soon as I received it The only reason it took me so long to finish it was because of life and how busy it can be The book was very entertaining Very good plot, very good writing and very good suspense The book and its twists and turns kept me turning from one page to another eagerly waiting to see what would happen next I also loved how so many details were given to the background and history of t I won Parlor Games, a book by Maryka Biaggio, in a Goodreads giveaway I started reading it as soon as I received it The only reason it took me so long to finish it was because of life and how busy it can be The book was very entertaining Very good plot, very good writing and very good suspense The book and its twists and turns kept me turning from one page to another eagerly waiting to see what would happen next I also loved how so many details were given to the background and history of the late 1800s, early 1900s With that being said, I did not like May Dugas While she was honest and straightforward to us, her dear readers, I did not like how she treated others in her life especially her family She was very charming and engaging, but at the same time, she seemed to be a sociopath She didn t seem to care who she hurt along the way while focusing on the prize having all the money in the world to live happily and comfortably May s love for Johnny and Alonso did seem convincing, but at the same time, I don t think she had the same feelings for them like a normal woman would have for a man While May may not have tried to take them for all they had like she did with the other people she met, she did ultimately hurt them in the end In short, May was a con artist and needless to say, I don t care for a person like that And, don t even get me started on May s friend, Frank Shaver That woman made my skin crawl Also, I was very confused on how the Pinkerton detective, Reed Doherty, was able to keep finding May no matter where she was or what name she was going by I can t figure out how someone can be found back in the old days, long before the Internet was even invented I just kept thinking, if a lowly woman like May Dugas could be found so easily, couldn t they have found the identity of Jack the Ripper who killed in the late 1880s Onething, I found the cover picture to be a little misleading It showed a pair of women who looked like flappers in the Roaring Twenties, which took place after the book ended All in all, a 3.5 out of 5 stars

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