Agnes Storey was born in 1906, daughter of the innkeeper of the Broad Inn near Whitby. At the start of WWI the family moves to Croydon for safety from the German naval attacks. Agnes gets a job as a cocktail waitress in London. She has blonde hair and blue eyes and Tommy Bell, who owns Rules Restaurant, is so entranced with her beauty and skill at mixing cocktails that he pays for her to have the afternoon off to go to Selfridge’s to buy a flapper gown for the annual beauty contest of ‘The Most Beautiful Barmaid in London’ – which she wins despite much opposition.
Back at Rules Restaurant, Agnes mixes drinks for Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence and Jessie Matthews. Andre Charlot, a French Impresario, is also impressed by her beauty and talents and persuades her to join his London Revue. After an argument with her mother, Agnes packs her trunk and joins the rest of the cast on the RMS Aquitania to cross the Atlantic. Arriving in America she gives her first interview which describes her as a ‘Bobbie Dazzler’ on the front page of a New York newspaper. In great excitement she changes her name to Bobbie.
Bobbie’s theatre career progresses rapidly and she is approached by Ziegfeld to join the cast of Follies at the Amsterdam Theatre where she makes her fortune. After a short return to England and a failed marriage, Bobbie returns back to the US to join the cast of Rio Rita, produced by JJ Schubert at the Lyric Theatre. Revelling in the fame, Bobbie crosses paths with a dangerous man called Charlie Nugent, whose involvement in the Mafia puts her safety at risk…
Jane Hill lives in Torquay, Devon and was inspired to write this novel after attending a three year Creative Writing course at Keele University. The story is based on true events and Jane has Bobbie’s family’s birth and marriage certificates as well as pictures of her in her stage costumes and newspaper clippings from the time.