Sheltering in Place at the Magdalena Arms: Episode X

In our last episode, Dolly, Lois, and Pamela discovered that Mrs. DeWitt has a mysterious daughter. Just as Dolly rallies the Magdalena Arms tenants to search for the missing heiress, Angelo and Lon emerge from Angelo’s shuttered hair salon, where Angelo has given Lon an illicit trim.

Missed the earlier episodes? You can find them all hereOr start from the beginning with Episode I and use the “next” button at the top the screen to move between episodes.

The Magdalena Arms Rallies ‘Round

“Lon! Angelo! What were you thinking?” Dolly scolded. She had to force herself to assume a severity she didn’t feel; she envied Lon their … Read more

Sheltering in Place at the Magdalena Arms: Episode VI

Quarantine Lunch à Deux

Entering the basement kitchen in search of her missing mask, Dolly surprised Laura and Phyllis, seated at opposite ends of the long table where Dolly had once kneaded dough for her sticky buns, mixed up waffle batter, or chopped green peppers and ham for omelets, making the hearty breakfasts the Magdalena Arms was famous for.

The communal breakfasts were now a distant memory. And a good thing, too, Dolly reminded herself. It certainly would have been awkward, feeding her boarders buffet style, given the new health requirements!

The two Bay City civil servants started guiltily at Dolly’s entrance, as if their landlady had interrupted them in … Read more

Sheltering in Place at the Magdalena Arms: Episode IV

Missed the earlier episodes? You can find them all here.

Love in a Time of Pandemic

As Phyllis stepped onto the third floor landing, she automatically glanced down the hallway and the three shut doors that lined it.

As if on cue, the door to Apartment 401 swung open and Laura stepped out.

Phyllis caught her breath at the sight of her downstairs neighbor. Had there ever been a more attractive Assistant to the Head of Public Housing?

Like Phyllis, Laura followed a regular routine, dressing each morning with her usual care, eating at her regular times, and had confided to Phyllis that it was her strict rule not … Read more

Sheltering in Place at the Magdalena Arms, Episode I

On the Fifth Floor…

In Apartment 501, Phyllis was hunched over her laptop, studying a graph as intricate as a spiderweb, tiny intersecting lines representing death rates and confirmed cases from around the world. “There’s hopeful news from Estonia,” reported the steadfast statistician, ever-eager to find a bright spot in the gray clouds of the pandemic.

“That’s nice,” said Maxie, who was visiting from downstairs. She sat the required six feet away on Phyllis’s bed, her second cup of coffee on the bedside table, her nimble thumbs flying busily as she texted her friend Stella. “But what’s the news closer to home?”

Ooo! Send me a picture! Maxie texted. … Read more

Career Girls, 1942 Style

First edition of Laura, Eyre & Spottiswood, cover by Bip Pares

There was a double feature playing a few nights ago, Laura and Bedelia, both based on books by Vera Caspary. I was so exhausted from the grueling Noir City Film Festival pace (four movies on Saturday) that I thought I’d skip the movie version of Laura (which I’ve seen more times than I can remember) and read the book instead. Continue reading