"I tell you this, Smythe. If I have to endure yet another of Evelynne's snide remarks that, "Maybe I'd be able to find a man if I weren't always being mistaken for one", I may be forced to kill her. Slowly."
--Fiona on Evelynne Poole
In "The Continentals" the city of Mansfordshire is figuratively and literally divided into 2 halves (the haves and the have nots) by a series of inter-connecting back alley ways appropriately called "The Divide". And only the touch of luck or fortune, either good or bad, at birth and little else decides on which side of the divide you will belong on. And distrust and distaste of each by the other will never allow an eastender to cross into the westend and vice versa. At least not in the light of day.
Mansfordshire's high society westend is affectionately known as "The Heights", because the posh social sect that live there live their lives above the rest of the mere mortals of the city. Particularly the people who live on the eastend, unaffectionately known as "the Narrows", because the people there are said to live between the cracks of polite society. On the westend you live, on the eastend you survive, and therein lies the difference.
One of the shining stars of the westend high society social sect is Evelynne Poole. And for better or worse she is the 19th century equivalent of Paris Hilton in "The Continentals"--A person of high fashion, style, wealth and social standing, but very little substance. Though, admittedly, Evelynne has more there-there then the "bit of fluff" Monique described her as, she seldom rises above almost "fiddle-dee-deeing" her way through a life filled with cotillions, high tea parties, dinner soirees, attending the theatre and opera, focusing on her (and everyone else's) social status, and ultimately who she'll marry and how his place in society will improve her own. With Smythe squarely in her sights concerning the later.
But the tangled web of the Mangler murders reaches into Evelynne's pampered life as well. With her grandmother Dame Victoria Ellesworth Poole's memories of the fall of a powerful family 14 years ago that could hold clues crucial to Smythe and Fiona's efforts to untangle the web of secrets that bind so many to the Mangler murders--Including members of the westend high society social sect.
I wanted Evelynne to live up to her inner Paris Hilton of being a high society princess famous for nothing more then being rich an showing up at the party. I saw her as mid 20's, medium height, with a slight frame, blond hair styled to perfection, wide expressive eyes, a cold "practiced" smile, and a cultured, refined beauty that screams out of selective breeding and borders on boring.
Sound like anyone you know?
With Evelynne epitomizing the snobby genteel of polite westend society it's easy to forget that even there there is a heart beating just below the surface within the westend working class. And no better example of that heart can be found then in Smythe's gentlemen's gentleman Bentley Farnsworth.
NEXT WEEK--BENTLEY FARNSWORTH