About Collected Millar: First Things, Last Things: Banshee; Spider Webs; It’s All In The Family; Collected Short Fiction
A treasure trove of Millar rarities join her final novels to form a collector’s dream anthology.
Perhaps no other installment in Collected Millar displays the staggering variety of form and ranging interests of Margaret Millar as the present volume. On one end readers will find her final two mystery novels, which display the hallmarks of the writer in her heyday; the sharp social commentary and poignant black humor both well-couched in a brilliantly devised plot. The other end of the collection sees her collected shorter works, which includes the return of two fan favorites, Dr. Paul Prye and Inspector Sands. Last but certainly not least is her darkly humorous autobiographical children’s novel.
Banshee (1983) The moral hypocrisy of society’s upper crust is laid bare when the untimely death of the young daughter of wealthy Californian landowners slowly destroys the community that loved her in life.
Spider Webs (1986) The motives and prejudices of twelve jurors are on full display in the case of a Caribbean yacht captain who has been accused of murdering a wealthy white client for her jewelry.
Collected Short Fiction with an Introduction by Tom Nolan (2004) Millar may have been better known as a novelist but the short stories in this collection prove that she was also a master of the short form. Two novellas and three short stories possess all the hallmarks of her stunning novel-length mysteries, including a return to two favorite characters: The psychologist Dr. Paul Prye and Detective Inspector Sands.
It’s All in the Family (1948) Out of print for decades, and extremely hard to find until now, Margaret Millar’s bestselling and only book-length foray into children’s literature stars a precocious (maybe pernicious) young girl named Priscilla, whose flair for the dramatic is matched only by her preternatural intellect. This semi-autobiographical story remains a delightful depiction of a pre-war childhood, even if the protagonist skews more Wednesday Addams than Dorothy Gale of Kansas.
Mystery Writers of America Grand Master Winner of the Edgar Award for Best Novel Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year
“One of the most original and vital voices in all of American crime fiction.” —Laura Lippman
“I long ago changed my writing name to Ross Macdonald for obvious reasons.” —Kenneth Millar (Ross Macdonald), in a letter to the Toronto Saturday Night newspaper
“Very Original.” —Agatha Christie
“Stunningly original.” —Val McDermid
“Millar’s mysteries are filled with clever twists, yet what makes them special is her surgical approach to her characters’ inner lives. She’s got an eagle eye for the juicy stuff lots of mystery writers still ignore—questions of class, status, sexual desire and the difficult position of women. This last was something she knew about firsthand. Millar’s work was long overshadowed by that of her husband, detective novelist Ross Macdonald. In fact, her best novels — like 1955’s Beast in View — have a ferocious edge that make him look rather tame.” —John Powers, NPR’s Fresh Air
“One of the greatest this country has ever produced.” —The Globe and Mail
“A writer whose own work is every bit as psychologically bruising and critically acclaimed as that of her husband [Ross Macdonald], if not as well known. But [Syndicate Books] hopes to rectify that with Collected Millar.” —Kevin Burton Smith, Mystery Scene Magazine
“Razor-sharp.” —The Seattle Times
“She has few peers, and no superior in the art of bamboozlement.” —Julian Symons
“Written with such complete realization of every character that the most bitter antagonist of mystery fiction may be forced to acknowledge it as a work of art.” —Anthony Boucher reviewing Beast in View for the New York Times
“Margaret Millar can build up the sensation of fear so strongly that at the end it literally hits you like a battering ram.” —BBC
“Wonderfully ingenious.” —The New Yorker
“Brilliantly superlative… One of the most impressive additions to mystery literature—and the word “literature” is used in its fullest sense.” —San Francisco Chronicle
“In the whole of crime fiction’s distinguished sisterhood, there is no one quite like Margaret Millar.” —The Guardian
“A superb writer.” —H.R.F. Keating
“She writes minor classics.” —Washington Post
“Mrs. Millar doesn’t attract fans she creates addicts.” —Dilys Winn, namesake of the Dilys Award