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You have to go back a ways to discover that books like are really just standing on the shoulders of, imho, better antecedents. Crime fiction is full of delicious cliches but some of the characters, especially in traditional hard-boiled tough-guy fiction, are pretty sexist.
Lots of these domestic noir books are just saturated with Gothic mood, in a far from hokey way. I want my Gothic ingenues, the ones wandering around the uncanny old house and picking up the “something is wrong” vibe, to have plenty of intellect as well as intuition.
In fact, I like to mix up bedroom-eyed ingenues and soulful femme fatale types so you might have trouble distinguishing them by the time the book finishes.
Sally Ryder in might seem at first like just another ingenue on a romantic binge.
But it’s her willingness to bend the rules and substitute other secrets for the ones she’s investigating that in the end gives her choices and decisions symbolic importance and moral weight, I hope. These conventions of the Gothic novel are perfect to explore the dangers that lurk within women’s domestic lives, and what is more serious and timely than that?
Crime fiction in general allows writers to explore justice questions: questions like who really pays and who gets away with what.
Both are remote estates owned by wealthy but troubled families.
Plus, in my books femme fatales are actually allowed to live, they’re usually killed off!Now in her mid-20s, she has set up an agency in Montreal, but she is unable to accept clients until she receives her license from the government.In need of cash, she accepts a summer job as an au pair at Columbine Lodge in the Laurentian Mountains.You can invest a fairly restrictive crime plot with as much social and moral significance as you want, for example by bending the conventions and changing the typical outcomes.You can present ideal revenges and undercut status quo justice outcomes that further victimize. Lots of bad weather (we know how to work those terrible winter storms), isolated countryside, brooding nature, big cities with seedy underbellies, ugly and/or suppressed history, and women on a mission. So many writers who are considered serious and literary have delved into the Gothic: all the Brontes, even Jane Austen in , our own Margaret Atwood and Nobel laureate Alice Munro.
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Which is why I reward her with a handsome and marriageable man sometimes, along with other desirable things such cold hard cash.