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  • Paperback
  • 205 pages
  • Mermaid
  • Margaret Millar
  • English
  • 03 November 2017
  • 9780749001100

About the Author: Margaret Millar

Ross Macdonald They resided for decades in the city of Santa Barbara, which was often utilized as a locale in her later novels under the pseudonyms of San Felice or Santa Felicia Millar s books are distinguished by sophistication of characterization Often we are shown the rather complex interior lives of the people in her books, with issues of class, insecurity, failed ambitions, loneliness or existential isolation or paranoia often being explored with an almost literary quality that transcends the mystery genre Unusual people, mild societal misfits or people who don t quite fit into their surroundings are given much interior detail In some of the books we are given chilling and fascinating insight into what it feels like to be losing touch with reality and evolving into madness In general, she is a writer of both expressive description and yet admirable economy, often ambitious in the sociological underpinnings of the stories and the quality of the writing.Millar often delivers effective and ingenious surprise endings, but the details that would allow the solution of the surprise have usually been subtly included, in the best genre tradition One of the distinctions of her books, however, is that they would be interesting, even if you knew how they were going to end, because they are every bit as much about subtleties of human interaction and rich psychological detail of individual characters as they are about the plot.Millar was a pioneer in writing intelligently about the psychology of women Even as early as the 40s and 50s, her books have a very mature and matter of fact view of class distinctions, sexual freedom and frustration, and the ambivalence of moral codes depending on a character s economic circumstances Her earliest novels seem unusually frank Read against the backdrop of Production Code era movies of the time, they remind us that life as lived in the 40s and 50s was not as black and white morally as Hollywood would have us believe.While she was not known for any one recurring detective unlike her husband, whose constant gumshoe was Lew Archer , she occasionally used a detective character for than one novel Among her occasional ongoing sleuths were Canadians Dr Paul Prye her first invention, in the earliest books and Inspector Sands a quiet, unassuming Canadian police inspector who might be the most endearing of her recurring inventions In the California years, a few books featured either Joe Quinn, a rather down on his luck private eye, or Tom Aragorn, a young, Hispanic lawyer.Sadly, most of Millar s books are out of print in America, with the exception of the short story collection The Couple Next Door and two novels, An Air That Kills and Do Evil In Return, that have been re issued as classics by Stark House Press in California.In 1956 Millar won the Edgar Allan Poe Awards, Best Novel award for Beast in View In 1965 she was awarded the Woman of the Year Award by the Los Angeles Times In 1983 she was awarded the Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America in recognition of her lifetime achievements.

MermaidCleo Jasper, A Beautiful Woman In Her Early Twenties Drops Out Of Sight While Attending An Exclusive School For The Learning Disabled Shortly Before Her Disappearance, She Had Wandered Into The Law Offices Of Tom Aragon, The Engaging Young Hero Of Ask For Me Tomorrow And The Murder Of Miranda Cleo S Older Brother Hilton, Hires Aragon To Find The Vulnerable Girl And Bring Her Back Home Hilton S Dedication To His Little Sister Is Tinged With Guilt And Perhaps Something For He Has Already Alienated His Wife And Son By His Devotion To Cleo.In A Trailer Park, Far From The Kind Of Environment Cleo Has Been Used To, Aragon Finds The Body Of Her Closest Friend, A Counselor At The School The Corpse Is Surrounded By Suicide Messages, One Of Them Addressed To Cleo But He Doesn T Find Cleo, Who Remains As Elusive And As Slippery As A Mermaid.Agatha Christie Was A Great Admirer Of Margaret Millar S Work Becuase She Is Always Different She Always Is Mermaid Is A Striking Example Of Her Storytelling Skill And Her Never Failing Ability To Surprise.

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10 thoughts on “Mermaid

  1. Jo Stevens says:

    I m not sure what I think of Margaret Miller s Mermaid The girl is mentally challenged and yet she manages to destroy so many lives As a parent of a mentally challenged individual I can honestly say that this is not an accurate representation of mentally challenged individuals I do not feel that my life is diminished for having my child in it In fact I feel honored to be her mother It may be different than being the parent o...

  2. Soscha says:

    What an odd little book Margaret Millar was a highly lauded mystery and suspense writer, and Mermaid is the third and final entry in her series featuring the side sleuthing lawyer Tom Aragon I haven t read the first two to comment on if the story just go away from her in this novel, but here Tom Aragon isn t a particularly interesting character He doesn t particularly even do much, to be honest There isn t too much in the way of mystery or suspense here, either The st...

  3. Alonzo Church says:

    Written in the witty, identifiably female voice one usually associates with a cozy mystery, this is one disturbing novel Cleo, a beautiful, young looking special needs woman of 20, runs away from her wealthy guardian, leaving chaos and unintentional damage in her wake Ms Millar s novel suggests some uncomfortable conclusions that probably could not be published today, as well as uses language that is not 2019 acceptable Still, the f...

  4. Francis says:

    So, if it wasn t a Margaret Millar book it would have clearly been four stars for me But, then I expect a lot from Margaret Millar she is one of my all time favorite mystery writers and I have read a lot of mysteries This is the third and last book in her Tom Aaragon series and it was a departure from her earlier writings which were sans dectetives albeit one early in her career which also fe...

  5. Neil Hargreaves says:

    Not bad Impossible not to think about how many of Margaret Millar and Ross MacDonald s novels are haunted by troubled young people.

  6. Pamela says:

    Another Millar and another fun read Seriously, if you have not read Millar, you need to right now

  7. Maura says:

    I really liked this book The writing craft she used was vivid imagination and descriptive words There was one scene in the book that I could imagine so vividly I was picturing it in my mind and it was amazing Margaret Millar did a really great job writing this book She really made the reader use their imagination The words she used really set up a picture in m mind and I loved that I feel like she used the writing craft very well She really made you feel like you were right there with Cleo and Aragon in their journey She used so many descriptive words that made the story very vivid I felt she wanted her readers to feel like they could close their eyes and feel like they were in the story She definitely fulfilled that with me I feel like Millar meet all the elements in her book There some points I felt like there to many characters in the story Sometimes while i was reading the book, I got confused as to who the character was that was talking If I was her writing teacher, I would tell her to narrow her characters down because you don t want to confuse your reader.The ideas I would take from this book would be to create a picture in the readers mind I would teach my students that having really good descriptive words in your story will create an image in the readers mind, and your reader will enjoy the book ten times The mini lesson I would use with my class to teach them how to create a...

  8. Jeff says:

    Mermaid 1982 This is another exemplary Margaret Millar novel, wherein nothing is as it seems and many of the reader s assumptions are proven wrong This book also features attorney Tom Aragon, in the probably fictional town of Santa Felicia She and Kenneth Millar Ross MacDonald lived in Santa Barbara His novels often took place in the mythical Californi...

  9. Carla says:

    A creepy and dark book, written with Millar s usual verve The characters even the innocent teacher and the desperate brother seem trapped in a world of evil.