Femme Fatale : Laura Hunt

Like most Femmes Fatales, Laura Hunt is beautiful, elegant, utterly ambitious and mysterious. Her charm makes it difficult for men to resist her, including the detective suspecting her of murder.

Laura is a brilliant mystery both in its plot and structure. Each of the men in love with Laura is a narrator in the novel. There’s Laura’s fiancé, who is unfaithful to her even on the eve of their wedding, her jealous friend Waldo who drives her lovers away and the hard-boiled detective who can’t resist her charms.

In this passage, where Laura thinks of Shelby, the man she is supposed to marry, writer Vera Caspary shows not only literary talent but sharp insight into Laura’s psyche.

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Femme Fatale: Laurel Gray

 

 

Femme Fatale Laurel Gray is a failed and lonely actress who hooks up with a lonely, washed-up screenwriter, Dix Steele – a man with a murderous psychotic mind.

Dorothy B. Hughes, author of In A Lonely Place, introduces her Femme Fatale when she runs into Dex, who lives in the same apartment building as she does.

The girl didn’t move for a moment. She stood in his way and looked him over slowly, from crown to toe. The way a man looked over a woman, not the reverse. Her eyes were slanted; her lashes curved long and golden dark. She had red-gold hair, flaming hair, flung back from her amber face, falling to her shoulders. Her mouth was too heavy with lipstick, a copper-red mouth, a sultry mouth painted to call attention to its promise. She was dressed severely; a rigid tailor suit, but it accentuated the lift of her breasts, the curl of her hips. She wasn’t beautiful, her face was too narrow for beauty, but she was dynamite. He stood like a dolt, gawking at her.

Although In a Lonely Place has a tense, dark atmosphere, it isn’t without its smart-ass humor. Hughes delivers this through Laurel, a tough woman not about to fall into Dix’s charm.

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Femme Fatale: Kitty Keeler

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? Continue reading

Femme Fatale

June is National Crime Reading Month.  What better time to introduce my Femme Fatale Series.

What I like about the Femme Fatale character is her independence, her  intelligence, her strength, her high sense of self-esteem and her belief that she can have whatever she sets her heart on.

photo found http://csarringtonchs.wordpress.com/2010/11/08/filming/

The Femme Fatal is an extremely gorgeous woman who knows how to use her sexuality as a weapon to get what she wants from the men in her life, sometimes leading them into very dangerous and murderous situations.

Source: www.flickr.com/photos/stf-o/14099398573/

The male protagonist (often a detective on her trail) who inevitably falls  for her, is immediately in trouble. At best, he will suffer from a heartbreak, but more usually,  she will convince him to commit crimes in exchange for the promise of having her.

Lauren Bacall: To Have and Have Not

If one were to package the Femme Fatale the warning on it would read:

Beware: May cause death.

I hope you’ll drop by my blog so that together we can discover these lethal women staring in some of the best of Noir fiction.