MARGARET MILLAR – A Stranger in My Grave. Paperback edition with new introduction by the author,  International Polygonics, Ltd., 1983. Originally published in by Random House, hardcover, 1960.

   It is good to have this classic available in paperback, even if it is at the inflated price of $5.00. Millar is a great hand at suspense. This one builds very slowly, starting with a young woman’s dream of her own grave.

   Persistently she tracks back to the date given on it of her death, four years previously. With the help of a private detective, Steve Pinata, Daisy Harker goes back in time to the events and people who made that day what it was. They find Nita, a promiscuous young Mexican woman with six kids by different men; her mother, a religious fanatic; a drifter who committed suicide by the railroad tracks.

   Slowly.they build connections: to Daisy’s father, an alcoholic who left her mother years ago; to Daisy’s mother , who lives near the Harkers; to Daisy’s husband. Extracts from a letter to Daisy head every chapter, and gradually they are linked to the people we come to know.

   The climax is inevitable, sad, and also happy, as Daisy finds out what her mother, father, and husband had tried so hard to keep her from knowing.

– Reprinted from The Poison Pen, Volume 6, Number 1 (Spring 1984).