Margaret Millar

When Wives Go Wild

‘No woman in 20th century American mystery writing is more important than Margaret Millar.’ So said HRF Keating (and he should know) in his overview of crime and mystery, ‘Whodunnit?’ Millar was born in Kitchener, Ontario in 1915, but moved to the US and married the crime writer Ross Macdonald (who wisely changed his name […]

Why Don’t Undead Tales Die?

There were only ever a handful of monsters in movies and books. In the 1930s Universal Pictures cemented the main ones into place, although mummies and werewolves proved harder to make scary than vampires and hand-stitched creations. Zombies were left out on a limb after ‘White Zombie’ and ‘I Walked With A Zombie’, until George […]

Goodbye PD James, Queen Of Crime

Phyllis Dorothy James, the grande-dame of crime writing, has died at 94. Until pretty recently she was still attending events, which may be proof that writing keeps you young. My pal Barry Forshaw met her many times and is now writing about her in today’s Independent. Psychological suspensers make more sense to me than police procedurals, partly […]

The Art Of Suspense

What’s the art of suspense? I’ll tell you later. In the 1950s, suspense novels and suspense cinema, largely driven by Hitchcock, became very fashionable. Nowadays we rarely find it in films because it requires an unusually slow trajectory, with a long build-up before the slingshot of a defining event which must perforce break the spell […]