A Crime of Passion Summary
Mary Higgins Clark

Everything you need to understand or teach A Crime of Passion by Mary Higgins Clark.

  • A Crime of Passion Summary & Study Guide

A Crime of Passion Summary

The plight of the "invisible servant" is the main theme, although there are others. One minor theme is "the woman wronged," an old theme in literature in which a woman who has been mistreated seeks revenge against her oppressors or, instead, shows herself to be truly noble by rising above her suffering. Mark Twain's The Tragedy of Pudd'nhead Wilson (1894) has a fine example of a woman's revenge, whereas Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter (1850; see separate entry) has perhaps the supreme example of a woman rising above her suffering and her tormentors. In the present case, Lillian believes herself wronged by society and takes her revenge by poisoning the men who do not appreciate her.

Another minor theme is that of lonely women. "Oh, you know how it is," the Countess Condazzi explains. "There are so many women in their fifties and sixties who are unattached, but there are...

(read more from the Short Guide)

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