The Parlor Girl's Guide

Steve McCondichie

The Parlor Girl’s Guide


Scarlett O’Hara meets The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.

A hard-edged country girl enlists the living and the dead to guide her past family tragedy and forge her escape from a secluded Southern brothel. After her father’s murder and mother’s abonnement, a merciless landowner forces Molly Lingo to work in a rural Alabama hunting lodge that doubles as an exclusive whorehouse. Molly, the feisty tough teenage daughter of a hand-to-mouth tobacco farmer, employs a mysterious specter and a troubled gambler, “Cotton” Arnold, to assist her in breaking away from the unrelenting grip of the sharecropper culture. Set at the beginning of the Jazz Age’s promising sweep across America, Molly’s story depicts both the shocking brutality of the landlord class and a young woman’s determination not to be treated as a second-class citizen. This energetic historical fiction offers supernatural thrills and the poignant transformation of a metaphysical coming-of-age tale.

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The Parlor Girl’s Guide held me all the way through and continues to remain on my mind long after the final page. Populated by antagonists and anti-heroes, every character is uniquely sullied and memorable.

Evan W.


A gritty portrayal of a plucky young woman of the Deep South, who is victimized by dark forces beneath the glitz and glamour of the Jazz Age.

– John Russo, Co-Creator of Night of the Living Dead


What holds the reader captivated is Molly’s resilience. Despite her opium-addled mind (she is kept addicted at the Sporting Lodge as a way to discourage her escape), she does manage to flee from her pursuers, and we root for her all down the line.

– George Hovis