Whatever happened to the femme fatale? You don't see her all that much these days, do you? At least I haven't seen her in a while in modern crime literature.
I like my female characters strong, sassy and sharp. It's not too often you find male writers that fully appreciate the smarts of the criminal female mind, and getting behind the eye shadow can be tricky for most men. There are exceptions, of course... Hammet, whose seminal Maltese Falcon lies to the right, was one of the few to get it just about right.
But what is a femme fatale and where does the character type originate? I found this great site with all things Noir and Nasty explained as simply as can be... check it out for yourself... DetNovel.com
Her origins date back to the Middle Ages and Christianity: a female demon, known as a succubus, was thought to visit men whilst they slept, seduce them and steal their souls - much like our nice 'modern' femme fatale, at least in theory.
So - finally - something we have the church to thank for... a sexual predator that leads honest men astray.... who'd a thunk, eh?
To my female readers I will say this... I promise to be a better man and do justice to the devious mind of the female of the species. For without the femme fatale there can be no hardboiled hero.
Let's celebrate our lying ladies and devious dames, our borderline broads and victimless vixens...