Saturday, May 19, 2007

Margaret Millar

Some additional comments about Margaret Millar inspired by you latest blog:
It was the first time we'd met face to face. On a cab ride back to her hotel the afternoon of the MWA dinner where she received the Grand Master Award, she confided, "You know, they're more than just mysteries." I agreed, and thirty years later am somewhat embarrassed by my reply to the effect that maybe if we don't tell anyone, they'll continue to sell.
I've always suspected that the reasons Maggie's books were not bigger sellers were (1) she had little interest in series characters and (2) never wrote the same book twice.
The Murder of Miranda was influenced by Richard Hull's classic inverted story The Murder of My Aunt. So said Mrs. Millar.
Sayers' influence is evident in Maggie's early novels starting with The Invisible Worm. That title is the reason she gave for using her married name on her books. Her maiden name was Sturm. (Think about it.) Incidentally, she was never interested in seeing these early novels featuring Paul Prye reprinted.
By the way, Ed, if memory serves me, Maggie's last interview was the one she gave you for Mystery Scene. She never liked giving interviews, but the two of you seemed to hit it off. She called me later to tell me how much she enjoyed it, and that was a first.

Although she always candidly answered journalist's questions, I think she disliked being interviewed because she was essentially a private person. And here I've gone and written about her twice in the same week. Maggie didn't believe in an afterlife, but just in case she was wrong, I hope she'll forgive me.


Hugh Abramson


Elizabeth Foxwell said...
Thanks, Ed, for the kind words about the issue. Readers can learn more about this issue and Clues in general at:

1 comment:

Francisco Ortiz said...

Gran escritora. Magnífica "Semejante a un ángel".