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This dynamic is at play within Diane herself, who embodies feminine fragility and power at once. Their livelihoods had been taken away—first by the Depression, then by the war, and then by the women who replaced them while they were off fighting.

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The femme fatale, like the Dead Girl, traditionally functioned as a cipher, a scrim for misogynist fantasies. Severin about P. At times, though, Abbott mistakes reproducing noir myths of femininity for subverting them. Grazing her hand over a pile of P. Kit and Diane do not counteract the Dead Girl so much as meet her gaze from the other side of the mirror.

Villanelle is a female killer who shares almost nothing in common with the Dead Girl. She relishes clothes, has opinions about hair, flings her body around her enviably dilapidated French apartment, wolfs down bruschetta, crams her refrigerator with champagne. She commits murder via perfume, gun, knife, or whatever else she feels like. If someone, like an overconfident fellow-assassin or her affected new handler, bothers her, she shoots him.


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Her kills are expressions of style, whimsy, and uncomplicated power. She wields limitless wits and limitless wealth; she moves through the world seemingly unencumbered by constraints of any kind. Her ardor is reserved for life, and for Eve, the detective whom she circles as fervently as Eve circles her, and as avidly as generations of detectives have circled Dead Girls and their dangerous, bewitching counterparts.

This is its own sort of feminist breakthrough: she is Villanelle first, a woman second.

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Then one morning, Chantel finds Charlotte dead from an opium tablet overdose. Because she would have benefited from Charlotte's death, people suspect Anna of killing her aunt, but Chantel successfully defends her and the death is declared a suicide.

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Chantel takes up a position at the nearby Castle Crediton, caring for Monique Stretton, the wife of Redvers that Anna had not previously known about. Anna discovers she inherited serious debts from Aunt Charlotte and decides to sell her antique furniture and rent out the Queen's House.

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Chantel helps get Anna hired as Red's son Edward's governess while they are away. During the voyage, Edward gets drugged and Anna suspects someone onboard had been planning on throwing him overboard, but most of the passengers assume it was just a prank. Once the ship arrives on the island of Coralle, Red declares his love to Anna and gives her a letter asking for her to wait to be with him just before he departs. In order for Chantel and Rex to inherit the castle and the family riches, both Red and Edward would have to be dead, so Chantel had drugged Edward on the ship in an attempt to kill him, but the plan failed.


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Then, on Coralle, Chantel had poisoned some coffee Monique was going to give Red in order to frame his wife for his murder, but Chantel accidentally drinks the coffee herself and dies. Anna returns to England and continues to be Edward's governess until he begins attending school.

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She then returns to the Queen's House and one of her maids informs her that Monique died on the island of Coralle. Red returns to England so that he and Anna can finally begin their life together. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.