Mona of the Manor

Armistead Maupin

Mona of the Manor
Transworld Publishers Ltd
United Kingdom
1 June 2023

Mona of the Manor

Armistead Maupin

The tenth novel in the beloved Tales of the City series, Armistead Maupin's best-selling San Francisco saga.

When Mona Ramsey married Lord Teddy Roughton to secure his visa-allowing him to remain in San Francisco to fulfil his wildest dreams-she never imagined she would, by age 48, be the sole owner of Easley House, a romantic country manor in the UK. Now, with her adopted son, Wilfred, Mona has opened Easley's doors to paying guests to keep her inherited English manor afloat.

As they welcome a married American couple to Easley, Mona and Wilfred discover their new guests' terrible secret. Instead of focussing on the imminent arrival of old friend Michael Tolliver and matriarch Anna Madrigal, Mona will need to use her considerable charm, willpower and wiles to set things right before Easley's historic Midsummer ceremony.

Hurdling barriers both social and sexual, Maupin leads the eccentric tenants of Barbary Lane through heartbreak and triumph, through nail-biting terrors and gleeful coincidences in 1980s San Francisco and beyond. The result is a glittering and addictive comedy of manners that continues to beguile new generations of readers.


Hallelujah! Tales of the City fans rejoice! This month sees the release of Armistead Maupin’s 10th book in the groundbreaking series that follows the lives of the residents of 28 Barbary Lane. For those of us who have aged along with this series, a new instalment is always a joy.

Mona of the Manor is set some two decades after the events of the first book. Lady Mona Roughton (once Mona Ramsey) is a long way from San Francisco and residing at Easley House, a rambling manor in the Cotswold district that she inherited after the death of her gay husband, Lord Teddy. She and her 26-year-old adopted son Wilfred have monetised the house, running it as a B&B.

When American guests Rhonda and her cantankerous husband, Ernie, arrive one wet afternoon, Wilfred witnesses a scene between the couple that Mona feels compelled to act upon.

Meanwhile, having lost so many friends to AIDS, Mona is concerned for her gay son on his jaunts to London in search of love. She’s also feeling pangs of guilt for being so geographically distant from her ageing parent and one-time landlady Anna Madrigal at a time when she should be assisting her. Maybe one of these days her old pal Micheal Tolliver will come and visit with Anna in tow?

This is classic Maupin, big-hearted and charming. As with other books in the series, a mystery of sorts threads its way through the narrative, secrets are revealed and there are nods to previous characters. It may be a cliché but we, the readers, are left feeling as though we are being enveloped by an enormous hug from an old friend.

This can be read as a stand-alone, although readers will benefit from having read others in the series, and what better time to purchase the previous nine books! In celebration of the release of Mona of the Manor, Penguin Random House have reissued the complete backlist with beautiful matching cover designs. I may repurchase the whole set.

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