Re: RARA-AVIS: Tough Women in Chandler and Spillane

Date: 29 Aug 2001


Re your comment below:

> The strong women in
> Chandler's books, and
> Maltese Falcon and Spillane's yarns were either
> femme fatales or overlooked.

What about tough but virtuous Anne Riordan in
*Farewell, My Lovely* and "The Pencil?" A cop's kid who knows the score and is respected (and probably loved) by Marlowe as much for her tough demeanor as her goodness.

And Mike Hammer's secretary Velda is tough as nails. Ex-counter-intelligence with her own PI license and a permit to pack a pistol, she's credited (in *The Snake*) with practically winning the Cold War single-handedly while on an 7-year-long undercover mission to the Soviet Union that Mike knows nothing about. She's also the only woman that ever got a proposal and an engagement ring out of Mike. Whatever else you can say about Velda, she's neither an evil femme fatale, nor overlooked. Indeed, she's an integral part of the Hammer mythos.


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