The Dollhouse
by Fiona Davis
From The Jacket:
When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates arenít: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesnít belongóa notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, sheís introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin thatís used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizonís gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darbyís involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly womanís rent-controlled apartment. Itís a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darbyís upstairs neighbor, to resistónot to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Roseís obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

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