Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Review: No Nice Girl

No Nice Girl No Nice Girl by Perry Lindsay
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Perry Lindsay was a pseudo of Peggy Gaddis. When this novel was reprinted in paperback in 1946, it was one of the first of a bewildering array of Gaddis paperback reprints that began appearing along with her paperback originals in the late 1940s and 1950s. By that time Peggy Gaddis had already published more than 100 novels in hardcover. All told, she wrote nearly 300 novels under a variety of pseudonyms. No Nice Girl starts right off with Anice spying through the drapes and catching a businessman having an affair with a neighbor and then blackmailing him into buying her house for $5,000, which in 1946 would have been a considerable amount for an 18-year old to play around with. Where things go next is a bit surprising and never completely given motivation: Anice goes to New York City and moves in with her cousin Phyllis. (What does she do with the $5,000? Spends it mostly on clothes.) Over the course of the novel Anice worms her way into Phyllis's life, angling for her boyfriends and her job. With a little more edge and darkness this could have been really creepy. It's like one of those horror movies (Rock the Cradle?) where the seemingly nice girl invades the family and yet we know she has evil intent. Here, though, the others see what she is up to right away but inexplicably let it happen. Before the happy ending - this is ultimately a romance novel, after all - Phyllis nearly losses everything to her not so nice cousin.

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