Legendary singer and demi-monde personality Sadie Nolan now has a place of her own, the Frisco Club. Independent and imperious, she has so far been able to stay in control of her most important associates: sneaky banker Thor Crane, the club’s main investor; Red Dolan, former roustabout and now floor manager; and gay band leader Roy Geary. Sadie faces a new issue when beautiful and ambitious singer Jane Eddy, who reminds Sadie of herself thirty years before, gives an impromptu performance and is immediately claimed as property by Dolan. That’s also a concern for businessman Ted Mallon, who is deeply smitten by Jane. Sadie, meanwhile, has fallen for drifter Bob Gandy, who accepted food and clothing from her and then left town. Despite everything she doesn’t sense serious trouble ahead.
Like all rental library books in the romance genre, this novel aimed to provide plot-driven entertainment to working-class women. It’s unusual in several ways. Its protagonist is pushing fifty and fears love will not come again. Its fundamental setting is a place of business, and machinations there propel the story. And its gay character is widely respected and able to stand up for himself. (At one point he clobbers Dolan over the head with a vase.) If the author, James Noble Giffford, using one of his many pseudonyms, had taken more time to think the story through, he might have produced a passable piece of San Francisco color. As it is, the novel has more characters than he can handle. Jane, for example, pretty much disappears for most of the book. In addition, Gifford throws in too much pointless dialogue and strains to concoct a happy ending. So the book is unlikely to emerge from obscurity.