Beast in View by Margaret Millar

Another novela included in the superb Women Crime Writers anthology, Beast in View is a psychological thriller that stands alongside some of the best I’ve read. Millar’s descriptions are vivid and colorful; her characters dripping with personality and history. Where the other novela I wrote about from this anthology felt like a black and white noir, this one feels like a rich, velvety Todd Haynes movie… barring that, I do believe it’d be a Hitchcock. The dialogue is the best that I’ve read in awhile, and Millar just has a knack for turns of phrase that perk up the reader’s attention.

Millar was completely unknown to me before this, so it was great to discover her genius and learn more about her career after wrapping up Beast in View. In that digging, I found that she wrote “27 books, short stories, half a dozen screenplays, poems, radio stories, and one touching memoir” and the Los Angeles Review of Books described her characters as “women who shared a quietly desperate view of a hard-boiled world.” Spot on. Further, Beast in View won the 1956 Edgar for Best Novel. I’m eager to track down some of Millar’s other works…

This post is part of #MySummerOfMysteries, a project to immerse myself in mysteries, thrillers, crime writing, and whodunits. For each book I finish, I’m posting brief thoughts and reflections here. Please note that these are not intended as full reviews. To view my reading progress throughout the summer, click here.