This book marks the first in my armchair travels within the states. Maupin's series takes place in San Francisco, and features loveable couples and characters from North Beach to Noe Valley and all the neighborhoods in between. In his latest, Mary Ann returns to SF after fleeing a terrible marriage in NY, and to face the reality of cancer. She moves in with her old friend Michael Tolliver, and his husband Ben. Surrounding them are the matriarch transvestite (and former landlady) Anna Madrigal and her protege in waiting, Jake. Mary Ann's daughter Shawna plays prominently in the story, finding herself obsessed with the identity of a lone homeless woman. With a couple major story arcs, Maupin brings back the soap opera that is the Tales of the City, presenting unorthodox relationships in an an everyday way, and mixing the macabre with the sublime. I can't get enough of this series and hope that Maupin keeps providing us more adventures with all our favorite characters.