How would you react if you were told that your two young children were murdered?
And then, not only have you seen their dead bodies at the morgue, but you are being interrogated by The District Attorney about your love life.
Kitty Keeler is not a woman to take accusations of murder lightly.
Dorothy Uhnak, Policewoman in The NYPD for 14 years, draws from her experience to bring us a character that has all the traits of a femme fatal.
She slid around in the chair and blazed at the men standing on the side of the room. “You bastards been having fun? Listen you,” she turned back to Neary, “you want to know about my love life, my sex life, you just ask me. Ask me and I’ll tell you whatever the hell you want to know to get your kicks, to make your day.” She leaned back in the chair, folded her arms, tilted her head to one side. “And that’ll save you time, so you won’t have to send all these goddamn overpaid son-of-bitches digging into my private life. And then maybe, maybe, you can start finding out who killed my kids.” Her anger fed itself, generated an even greater fury, strengthened her, made her more than equal to deal with all of us.
Is Kitty sincere? Do you believe her distress?
Uhnak gives Kitty a raw language so typical of the femme fatale’s confidence:
“It really shakes the hell out of you. All of you. Doesn’t it? That a woman can have a full, active sex life. It’s different when it’s one of the boys, right? Then you all think, boy, this guy’s great. But let a woman live the way she wants and –”
And she makes her tough:
“Hey, now I got it. You’re the good guy. The rest of them,” she waved her arm around the room, “all the rest of them are the bad guys. …And you’re the soft-soap artist, the one I turn to, right? Joe Peter, that’s your name?” There was nothing soft left in her, and her voice was ice. “Well, I’m wise to you, Peters. I’m wise to all of you.”
Kitty fits perfectly the Femme Fatale model. She’s tough. She’s wise. She’s sexy. She knows how to use men. Especially Detective Joe Peters.
“The second man Alfredo told me to sleep with was you, baby. We both sized you up pretty good, Joe. You played good guy pretty good. You were easy, Joe. You were a push over. You went for everything, Joe…”
Here lies another femme fatale characteristic: leave the men who’ve fallen for you heartbroken.
So did Kitty murder her children? I’m not going to spoil the book for those who haven’t read it or those who intend to read it.
You can read my Goodreads review of The Investigation at:
Uhnak is perhaps best known for her novel Law and Order upon which was based the longest-running crime drama on American primetime television.
Uhnak died in July 2006.
30 thoughts on “Femme Fatale: Kitty Keeler”
Fascinating! I love this Femme Fatale series. So interesting to know she wrote Law and Order, I love the original series. 🙂
Thanks for your warm reply. I’m so glad you like the series so far. I thought that was pretty interesting as well to discover that she wrote Law and order.She’s one of my favorite Police Procedural writers. 🙂
As you probable know, the producer and screenwriter for TV’s Law and Order was Montréal’s René Balcer.
When is your next book coming out?
I didn’t know that but I’m really happy that you pointed it out.
I’m in the process of having my novel The Protectors edited. As to when it will come out I still don’t know. Thanks so much for commenting. Nice to see you here again. 🙂
Your femme fatale series is awesome, Carol.
I didn’t know that the Law & Order series originated from this book.
Guess one of my favourite ring tones… 😀
I’ve got some preferred seasons, Law & Order UK is pretty cool, and Law & Order Paris has its benefits (as I know the locations; and especially when watching it in French; there were only two seasons).
How cool to watch the series from different settings.
I’m glad you like my series (so far).
If you’re interested in police procedurals you might want to have a look at Dorothy Uhnak’s Policewoman. It’s about her experiences as a cop. Very interesting read.
Your series interesting, offers real food for thought, Carol.
I will certainly have a look at Dorothy Uhnak’s work. Thank you very much for the recommendation.
Oh yes, I was a fan of Law and Order. I had know idea about who write the series.
Glynis, thanks for stopping by and commenting. 🙂
Great post, Carol! I love Law & Order and didn’t realize the original story was written by a woman. Interesting.
So many good women writers seem to be smothered by their male counterparts.One of my objectives in this series is to showcase women crime writers.
I’m glad you enjoyed the post, Elke. 😀
I’ve liked detective stories since I started reading Nancy Drew as a teen. While practicing law, I preferred courtroom dramas a bit more. Then I switched to International spies and intrigue ~ e.g., Tom Clancy.
This should be an interesting series.
What an interesting background you have, Nancy. With your background I was curious to see if you wrote crime stories and came up your delightful tale A Peculiar Party Under The Palms.:)
Love how this crime fighter was a writer in disguise. How awesome that Law & Order came from her work… I hope she’s made millions off the show and its spin-offs. No one talks about her much so thanks for shedding light on her contribution.
Diahann, I’m sure she and her estate have made good profits from the show. She’s a great writer and it’s so true that she’s one of the forgotten, among so many other women writers.
If interested click on:
Thanks for stopping by and commenting. 😀
Thank you, Carol. I will check this out!
Interesting and also fascinating. I actually love crime and detective shows. Never really watch them though. I used to. Will be watching out for your continuing posts on women crime writers. This will be so fun.
I look forward to your comments on the series, Drew.
Hi Carol. I will comment or e-mail you next week if not before. Leah is losing her hair and quite down. I will go Sunday evening to their place and spend a week. It will be hard to see her this time round.
Be brave and know that these hard times are also occasions to bring you closer to each other.
I sure will do my best. Thanks Carol. I will keep in touch.
Just finished listening to The Goldfinch. Thanks for mentioning the title on your writer’s desk portion. It was quite long and for awhile I almost decided not to bother with it. So much swearing and drugs and all. But in the end, I was glad I kept reading. The ending is so deep. Parts of it I can really relate to.
I think the ending is the best part of the book.It’s not only well written but the content is profound and hopeful as well.
Have a great weekend, Drew. I hope you’re planning on taking your camera when you go to your daughter’s…I always look forward to your photos. You have such a good eye. 🙂
I was not really enthused because of all the swearing and drugs. Not my kind of story to read, but at the end I was sad to leave the characters once again. It’s funny how you grow to love them in spite of all their faults. Loved all the characters. I thought it was kind of sad that Theo got involved with Boris at the beginning, but every twist and turn is what made the story exciting. LIke I said, when I am done reading a book and having lived with these characters every night before I went to sleep, I felt at a loss.
I read some reviews about the author. Many do not like her because they are trying to compare Donna Tartt to other great writers. I think people who review are always complaining about something, aren’t they? Rather then leaving the author be who she is and writing her own style, they have to criticise to the limit. But she is so very young. I wish I had her talent.
I bring my camera pretty well everywhere I go. The photography part of my life is so intent and strong. I don’t claim to know a thing about photography and camera’s. but I love to try. Same with writing and poetry. I will be thinking of you this weekend. For some reason, I always wonder what you are up to and if you are out dating someone. Hugs and have a great weekend.
This was an interesting analysis of critics on writers. Donna Tartt certainly has huge amounts of talent. Once I found out that Boris had the painting I lost interest and skimmed about 100 pages. I think the novel could have been more compact. It could have used a good trim.
It’s been raining here for the past two days but I quite like it. Hugs back and do enjoy your weekend.
Coming back here after a while, I was intrigued to know of ” Law & Order” which I had not been aware of earlier.
“Femme fatale”, the word itself conjures up for me mystery and seduction. It beckons with the flutter of eyelashes and ‘come hither’ looks just as it repels with the ferocity of utterances. Can one escape from this?
Thanks for your kind comments. You description of the femme fatale is wonderful. 🙂
I am interested in this book, Carol. I like all the “Law and Order” shows. I wrote a post, for which a few fellow bloggers wished to join in, that I wished I could be a private investigator and also, included the old television shows P.I.’s, like “Mannix” and “Magnum, P.I.”
A policewoman would be a great source of information in a mystery or actual real ‘who done it.’ I like characters like femme fatales in older books, like “The Maltese Falcon” and “The Big Sleep.”
I appreciate your review and also, your candor in skimming books. I sometimes am too verbose, this would be hard to be an editor, cutting the ‘fat’ from the ‘real meat’ of the book! I can tell you are able to do this, Carol!! Smiles, Robin
Chandler had great Femmes Fatales in his novels.
You might want to read Uhnak’s “Policewoman.” It’s full of anecdotes regarding police work. 🙂
I’m a big fan of Law & Order and watch the re-runs with much pleasure. I didn’t know there was a Paris series, though I’ve seen a few of the UK episodes. Love your femmes fatales series. Kitty Keeler : what a great name!
Thanks for your comments. The name Kitty Keeler is just a few letters away from Killer. Not that I’m giving anything away. 🙂