A Stranger in My Grave (IPL Library of Crime Classics)

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( 182 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780930330064: A Stranger in My Grave (IPL Library of Crime Classics)

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 conspiracy

Jim 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.

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About the Author:

Margaret Millar (1915-1994) was the author of 27 books and a masterful pioneer of psychological mysteries and thrillers. Born in Kitchener, Ontario, she spent most of her life in Santa Barbara, California, with her husband Ken Millar, better known under the nom de plume of Ross MacDonald. Her 1956 novel Beast in View won the Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel. In 1965 Millar was the recipient of the Los Angeles Times Woman of the Year Award and in 1983 the Mystery Writers of America awarded her the Grand Master Award for Lifetime Achievement. Millar’s cutting wit and superb plotting have left her an enduring legacy as one of the most important crime writers of both her own and subsequent generations.

Review:

PRAISE FOR MARGARET MILLAR

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

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Millar, Margaret
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