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Three, three, three genres in one. It’s a murder mystery – who killed the elderly professorial companion of Metamora Academy’s befuddled but benign headmistress? It’s a romance – with which of the sometimes sultry, sometimes standoffish teachers will fledgling gym teacher Bobby Blanchard find the sexual and emotional connection she longs for, after she’s dumped by her closeted, class-conscious girlfriend?

And, as with Nolan’s hilariously saucy debut novel, Lois Lenz, Lesbian Secretary, it’s a campy homage to the classic lesbian pulps of Paula Christian, Ann Bannon and Vin Packer – set at an elite boarding school for often snotty girls, where newcomer Bobby decides to revive the school’s once-formidable field hockey team. Looming over the action is the school’s historic bell tower, exuding mystery and menace, from which the former Math Mistress plunged to her messy death. Nolan’s pell-mell pastiche of varied genres – add outrageous humor to the mystery, romance and pulpy homage – is great fun, both on the playing field and off.

Bobby Blanchard, Lesbian Gym Teacher, by Monica Nolan.
Kensington Books, 304 pages, $15 paper.