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.

Continue reading

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