Femme Fatale: Blanche Lake

What makes Blanche Lake a femme fatale?

She doesn’t try to seduce the detectives who are investigating the case of her missing daughter as  did Kitty Keeler in The Investigation.

Although Blanche Lake is an attractive woman who has just moved into New York City with her three-year old daughter she is not drop-dead gorgeous as is Jennifer Rockwell  in Night Train.

Nor is she money hungry like Dolly Henderson in Honor Bound.

Blanche Lake is very frightened and very disturbed.

Though little physical violence is present in the novel,  Piper brutally deals with the psychological violence that is a common theme throughout her noir thrillers.

Evelyn Piper was Merriam Modell ‘s pen name. She has also been referred to as Miriam Levant, the name she was given on her birth in Manhattan in 1908.  Her novel The Innocent – a domestic suspense novel  was nominated for the Edgar Award for Best First Novel and Bunny Lake is Missing was made into a Hollywood film.

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Femme Fatale: Dolly Henderson

The copy of Honor Bound which I read in the special collection of the National Library was so old (1934) that I was not allowed to take it out. I had to be careful as I turned the rough, yellowed pages so as not to have them disintegrate into dust in my hands.

Dolly Henderson in Honor Bound appears to be sweet and wanting to do the right thing. But here’s how Faith Baldwin describes her:

“She found herself thinking of money not in terms of coinage, but in terms of power: What it made of life, the channels it dug, the harbors it created, and the ramparts it threw up around the person who possessed it. It was terrifying.”

Engaged to Hank Ellis, a man who is over his head in debt, Dolly elopes with Vankennen Norris, an extremely wealthy man.

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