Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Millar's Crossing

Having already done stalwart service in the cause of one-half of the Millar mystery writing household (his biography of Ross Macdonald, born Kenneth Millar, still stands as an edifice in the landscape of literary biography), Wall Street Journal critic Tom Nolan continues the splendid defense he began in The Couple Next Door of Margaret Millar as an equally important writer --

by picking two of Millar’s best books of the 1950s, long out of print and now part of Stark House’s ambitious genre restoration. She “could seem as hard-boiled as any ‘50s writer,” Nolan says in his shrewdly admiring introduction, “and as lyrical as a poet… Juxtaposed, the two novels represent the sort of reversals of theme typical of Margaret Millar’s fiction.”