Solitaire is a fictional character in the James Bond novel Live and Let Die.

Novel biography

In a relative rarity for the James Bond franchise, there is little difference between the film and novel in the treatment of Solitaire's basic character and role. The novel reveals that her real name is Simone Latrelle, that she is of French stock, and she was born in Haiti; the name "Solitaire" is given to her by the Haitans because of her apparent exclusion of men from her life. The only physical difference appears to be that Solitaire is stated to have blue-black hair; she also possesses pale skin reminiscent of the tropical planter class. When Bond meets her she is twenty-five years old and described as "one of the most beautiful women Bond had ever seen."

On a later occasion Bond describes her as looking "rather French and very beautiful." At their first meeting, in the presence of Mr. Big, she comes across as superior, cold, and disdainful, an attitude reflected by her face, which Bond finds beautiful partly because of its lack of compromise and its hint of both cruelty and command. Once Solitaire has escaped from Mr. Big, however, she immediately becomes warm, open, and passionate towards Bond. Interestingly, despite her obvious Gallic-Haitian heritage, there is no mention of her having any French accent.

Solitaire was initiated into some of the practices of Voodoo still a child in Haiti. Either naturally or through this initiation, she has an extrasensory ability both to foretell the future and to judge the veracity of others, even if they converse in a language that she does not speak. These gifts instilled great fear of her among those who know her. Mr. Big discovered her doing a mind-reading act in a Haitian cabaret and, recognizing the value of her abilities, took her into his employ, using her in his espionage operations and planning for her eventually to have his children. Solitaire becomes, more or less, his hostage, with little or no autonomy, and when he uses her to interrogate Bond, her mental abilities immediately tell her that he is the one who will rescue her.

She thus covers for Bond by lying to Mr. Big, telling him that Bond is not out to get the gangster. She later escapes from Mr. Big and accompanies Bond on his assignment, though the gangster locates and kidnaps her, ultimately attempting, unsuccessfully, to kill both her and Bond by towing them over a Jamaican reef (a scenario adapted for the film version of For Your Eyes Only). The effort fails when Mr. Big's boat is destroyed by a mine Bond had earlier planted. The novel ends with Solitaire preparing to accompany Bond on his post-assignment recuperative leave.

Solitaire captured by Mr. Big.

Unlike in the film, there is no evidence that Solitaire would lose her psychic powers after sexual congress, an eventuality that does not even come up due to a broken finger Bond sustains and his need to stay vigilant during their only night together. As is the case in the film, however, she is apparently a virgin, although she gives every sign of wishing to have a sexual relationship with Bond, going so far as to initiate their first physical contact and later teasing him with her nudity.

While the culmination never comes to pass in the novel (practically the only time in the Bond canon that he does not bed someone during the course of a book), the indications are that it will happen during their shared vacation as the story concludes. Unusually for one of Fleming's heroines, what becomes of Solitaire after Live and Let Die is never really explained, though in Dr. No, when returning to Jamaica, Bond finds himself wondering about her whereabouts.

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.