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An Air That Kills

by Margaret Millar

A gripping novel of ordinary lives ripped apart by lust, deceit, adultery, conspiracy and betrayal On a Saturday night in April, Ron Galloway's friends have all arrived at his Ontario lakeside vacation lodge for a boys' weekend without their wives. But as the night wears on and the host himself doesn't arrive, the party turns sour. Then Ron Galloway's suspicious wife, convinced he is having an affair and trying to track him down, arrives on the scene, followed by the police. It is clear something is very wrong. In the hours and days that follow Ron Galloway's disappearance, the secret of an ugly infidelity comes to light, tearing apart Galloway's circle of friends and destroying two marriages. Did Ron Galloway commit suicide to escape his own unforgivable betrayals? What sinister set of circumstances brought him to his desperate end, and how will his survivors cope with the truth without tearing one another apart?

Beast in View

by Margaret Millar

Hailed as one of the greatest psychological mysteries ever written and winner of the 1956 Mystery Writers of America Edgar Award for Best Novel, Beast in View remains as freshly sinister today as the day it was first published. Thirty-year-old Helen Clarvoe is scared and all alone. The heiress of a small fortune, she is resented by her mother and, to a lesser degree, her brother. The only person who seemingly cares for her is the family's attorney, Paul Blackshear. A shut-in, Helen maintains her residence in upscale hotel downtown. But passive-aggressive resentment isn't the only thing hounding Helen Clarvoe. A string of bizarre and sometimes threatening prank phone calls has upended her spinster's routine. Increasingly threatened, she turns to a reluctant Mr. Blackshear to get to the bottom of these strange calls. Originally doubtful of their seriousness, Blackshear quickly realizes that he is in the midst of something far more nightmarish than he thought possible. As he unravels the mystery behind the calls the identity behind them slowly emerges, predatory and treacherous.

Beyond This Point Are Monsters

by Margaret Millar

The investigation into the disappearance of a wealthy California rancher brings to light the secrets of a whole community in this haunting masterpiece of suspense On a small family ranch outside Boca de Rio, a California city just across the Mexican border from Tijuana, time has stood still for the last year, since the day Robert Osborne, the 24-year-old ranch owner, went out for a walk with his dog and never came home. A large amount of two types of blood was found on the floor of the canteen used by the Mexican viseros, day-laborers hired to work the fields, but Robert's body was never recovered--if he was killed. The sheriff investigating the case pursued the case so tirelessly he couldn't cope with his failure to solve it and quit his job. In the year that has passed, the ranch has languished. Until Robert is declared dead, the ranch's executorship cannot be passed to someone else. His widow, Devon, yearns to move on with her life. But Robert's mother can't accept that her son is dead. Now, at last, the case to have Robert Osborne declared dead in absentia is being heard before the County of San Diego Court. It should be a cut-and-dry ruling--all evidence points to murder. But as witnesses come forward to testify before the judge, secrets of the ranch's past are exposed--secrets of a salacious love affair and a suspicious suicide, of anti-Mexican racism and illegal border-crossing, of alcoholism, indigence, adultery, unwanted pregnancy, even older rumors of murder. Will learning the truth about Robert Osborne allow these wounds to finally heal, or will it only rip open new ones?

The Fiend

by Margaret Millar

A young girl is at risk in this tense and disturbing page-turner that reveals a web of abusers and victims among a disparate cast of middle class AmericansBen Gowen is trying to do the right thing. His brother Charlie is a disturbed man--one who has done his time for the crimes he committed, crimes involving children. But Ben is determined to help Charlie reform, something that isn't easy considering Charlie's limited mental capacity and the nature of his disease.Charlie wants to be good. To be good and to be liked by his brother Ben. He doesn't want to have the bad thoughts. But he's disturbed that the parents of a little girl named Jessie have allowed their daughter to engage in risky behavior. Climbing trees. Rough-housing on the playground. She could get hurt. She should be fed nourishing meals and given warm clothing to wear. Upset, Charlie writes an anonymous letter to Jessie's mother, shaming her. He will keep an eye on her and make sure she's safe. The Fiend, first published in 1964, is a shocking novel in any era. Millar piles on the suspense and tension to nearly unbearable heights as a self-absorbed group of adults fail to notice a predator in their midst.

How Like an Angel

by Margaret Millar

California cultists, duplicitous damsels in distress, and dangerously high stakes conspire against Joe Quinn, a private eye who is beginnnig to feel more like a knight-errantJoe Quinn is cut adrift. He's lost everything. His girl. His job. His place in the universe. A security head for a casino in Reno just can't afford to have a gambling problem.Life takes a turn from tragic to strange when Quinn finds himself on the doorsteps of a religious cult's tower in the remote California hills. Quinn hitched a ride from Reno but never thought he'd end up in a place like this. But a gambler has to play the hand he's dealt. When one of the cultists asks Quinn to check on a man named Patrick O'Gorman and slides a not so small amount of money in his jacket, well, that's just the sort of hand Quinn has been looking for. Thing is, Quinn soon finds out, O'Gorman disappeared under bizarre circumstances several years ago. For reasons he doesn't entirely understand, perhaps for the sake of having a purpose, Quinn begins a lurid quest to uncover the truth. What he finds out instead is that there are just as many crazies outside the walls of a cultist tower as there are inside.

The Listening Walls

by Margaret Millar

In this suspenseful masterpiece about corrupted love, Rupert Kellogg's wife, Amy, goes missing after an ill-fated trip to Mexico--and Rupert becomes the focus of a paranoid investigation. Amy Kellogg is not having a pleasant vacation in Mexico. She's been arguing nonstop with her friend and traveling companion, Wilma, and she wants nothing more than to go home to the Bay Area. But an uncomfortable stay in a Mexican hotel takes a nightmarish turn when Wilma is found dead on the street below their room--an apparent suicide. Rupert Kellogg has just returned from seeing his wife Amy through the difficulties surrounding the apparent suicide of her friend in Mexico. But Rupert is returning alone--which worries Amy's brother. Amy was traumatized by the suicide, Rupert explains, and has taken a holiday in New York City to settle her nerves. But as gone girl Amy's absence drags on for weeks and then months, the sense of unease among her family changes to suspicion and eventual allegations.

A Stranger in My Grave

by Margaret Millar

Young housewife Daisy Harker's world is upended when a blank spot in her memory and a reoccurring nightmare link her to an unsolved murder and a decades-old conspiracyJim and Daisy Harker are a young, well-to-do couple in San Felice, California, and though childless they maintain the sort of domestic happiness that others can only aspire to. But a darkness exists at the outer edges of Daisy's mind and she has no idea why it's there. In a series of reoccurring nightmares she wanders a cemetery, eventually finding her own gravestone. According to the dream, December 2nd, 1955 is the day she died. Street smart but honorable, Stevens Pinata is a man with his own mysteries. An orphan left on a church doorstep as a child, he isn't even certain of his ethnicity, let alone his goals in life. As a private investigator he works with bail bonds and quick shakedowns. But when a pretty young woman like Daisy Harker comes into his office with a crazy request to "find her lost day" he is intrigued. He is too decent to take advantage of a crazy woman, but Mr. Harker is a wealthy man and who is Pinata to turn down money?What unfolds is a masterpiece of suspense and one of the books that forever changed the domestic thriller. Millar's razor sharp prose cuts a masterful plot and slashes at the racism, sexism, and entitlement endemic to an era otherwise celebrated for its prosperity.

Vanish in an Instant

by Margaret Millar

In this classic noir tale of blurred guilt and flawed innocence, a cynical lawyer uncovers the desperate lives of a group connected only by a gruesome murder. Eric Meecham is not an optimistic sort. An old-before-his-time lawyer, scratching out a living in courts and jail houses, he is no stranger to desperate cases and has little faith in anything or anyone. But his brand of existential nihilism isn't without curiosity, and when he gets a chance to represent a local society woman who's been arrested for murder under very scandalous circumstances, well, even he can't help but be engaged. Cold, austere, and used to having her way, Mrs. Hamilton is more than a little upset at having to travel 40 miles west of Detroit, in the dead of winter, to the small city of Arbana. But her careless daughter Virginia has landed herself in trouble again and Mrs. Hamilton will do anything to keep the family name out of a scandal. But she little understands the gravity of her daughter's arrest. Virginia was found drunk and underclad in the midst of a white-out snow storm. She was also covered in blood. In a cottage not too far away a married man, father of two, lay brutally stabbed to death. Earl Loftus is the definition of a hard luck case. Broke and terminally ill, Earl's life has been one tragedy after another. But the spark of a thoughtful intellect still gleams in his eyes and when Loftus comes forward to confess to the crime that Virginia is accused of, Eric Meecham is instantly skeptical. Could a man like Loftus actually commit such an act? The more Meecham interviews Loftus, the less he thinks it's possible.

Wives and Lovers

by Margaret Millar

A sincere and compassionate novel about the complications of married life, and the love, loathing, pain, loyalty, disappointments and friendship that grow out of a marriage Channel City, California, is a an average coastal town where everyone is doing their best to get by and be respectable, from the sun-grizzled fishermen on the wharf to the perfectly coifed society wives to the over-fed gophers who plague every middle-class garden. But in the hot summer of 1954, one unhappy man's extramarital affair turns the community on its head. Hazel Anderson, a dental assistant, is a contentedly divorced forty-something whose ex-husband, George, runs the town's wharf bar. Hazel worries about George, who is smitten with a much younger woman, Ruby, who won't have anything to do with him, and Hazel thinks Ruby is hiding secrets of her own. The dentist Hazel assists, Gordon Foster, works hard to support his wife and three children in their middle-class lifestyle, but he can never satisfy his wife, Elaine, who has always resented being married to a dentist instead of a "real" doctor. All of these relationships become tangled when henpecked Gordon's romantic indiscretion comes to light. Here, in this sweet, sad, and incisive literary novel, Margaret Millar accomplishes the same feat as she has with her award-winning crime fiction by offering readers a fascinating snapshot of life as it was, not life as we like to remember it having been.

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