WHITE GLOVES & ROB ROYS
A story of another time
As some of you already know, my new novel is out! Yay for me!!!
Manhattan in the sixties wasn't always welcoming to single women. In most "fine" restaurants we (women) couldn't sit at a bar alone (unless it was one of the city's new "singles" bars) without a male escort . We'd be accused of being "ladies of the evening" a/k/a "call girls" and, if we didn't leave when asked, we'd be physically escorted out to the street. Many restaurants wouldn't even seat a woman alone for dinner, never mind serve her a cocktail... even if she was with a girlfriend. But there was one restaurant (actually a chain of them) that always provided a safe haven for women eating alone. Schrafft's. Home-style food at reasonable prices. Upscale decor. And, yes, we could have a drink or two or three.
It was the beginning of the swinging sixties when I started out as a rock'n'roll journalist in Manhattan, a la "Almost Famous." Rock'n'roll wasn't kind to female writers (nor were most newspapers), so I supplemented that income working various paying jobs (operative word here is "paying"). My first paying job after college was as a legal secretary/para-legal at a law firm on Fifth (Ave.) and 42nd. My Mom was working in advertising on Madison Avenue (a real "Peggy" in "Madmen," though her desk was in the secretarial pool and she didn't get a raise when she was made a copy editor, but I digress). Mom still lived in Bayside, Queens, Long Island, New York where I grew up and commuted into Manhattan. I lived in the city. So we'd meet once a month or so for dinner... at Schrafft's. No singles bar/restaurant for us, though we were both single. It was mom and daughter time, not a "let's pick up men" time. While there, I noticed these older/old women (way older than my mom) sitting alone at various tables having dinner. Often with a cocktail. They wore hats, tweed suits or skirts with sweater sets and a strand of graduated pearls. Plain bumps adorned their feet. I could smell the Channel #5 or Arpege. And, yes, they wore white gloves. I wondered who they were and why they were always alone. Were they "spinisters?" Widowed? Divorced? Did they have children? Schrafft's restaurants are long gone now, but the memory of these women have haunted me ever since so I decided to give them a backstory... a voice. This is a tale of murder and revenge of some of those lone, lonely women. It's fiction, but I like to think that it could all be true.
Please meet the ladies of Schrafft's and the young reporter who discovers their story. Click into the link below and check out the reviews... read the synopsis... even the prologue and more. I hope you'll be intrigued... The book is also at Barnes & Noble online, Kindle and other ebook outlets.