The book talked about how personalities adapt to addiction. Mrs McGillicuddy sat down one night and put the characteristics of addicts in one list, with Jane’s character alongside:
Manipulation – Jane loved to manipulate policemen who were stumbling through some murder investigation, but her status on the village came from her role as the dear lady who could meet her needs for alcohol without anyone seeing.
Paranoia – Mrs McGillicuddy only now realised how Jane’s famous observation of the village characters, was part of her watchfulness – she needed to observe people acutely in order to maintain the safety of the role she was playing.
Narcissism – whilst Jane seemed to take an interest in the other villagers, Mrs McGillicuddy worried that this interest was only in so far as they were potential suppliers of drink or as part of maintaining her public character. It struck her now that she had no idea how much interest Jane really took in what she was thinking or doing during this stay.
Authority problems – apart from her contempt for policemen, Jane had no time for doctors either, despite the way she buttered up to them. It was the nurses sent to minister to her who found that she was a difficult patient!
Risk taking – Mrs McGillcuddy knew that in solving murders, Jane seemed to bring them to a conclusion with some very risky plans, setting a trap for the murderers so as to expose them in the most dramatic ways. This tendency acquired a new significance as she read about addictions.