Millhiser, Marlys (Joy) 1938-
MILLHISER, Marlys (Joy) 1938-
PERSONAL: Born May 27, 1938, in Charles City, IA; daughter of Harold Henry and Doris Enabnit; married David Ralph Millhiser (a mechanical engineer), June 25, 1960; children: Jay David, Joy Marie. Ethnicity: "Caucasian." Education: University of Iowa, B.A., 1960; University of Colorado, M.A., 1963.
CAREER: Writer since 1965.
MEMBER: Authors Guild, Authors League of America, Mystery Writers of America (regional vice president), American Crime Writers' League, Western Writers of America, Femmes Fatales, Colorado Authors' League.
Michael's Wife, Putnam (New York, NY), 1972.
Nella Waits, Putnam (New York, NY), 1974.
Willing Hostage, Putnam (New York, NY), 1976.
The Mirror, Putnam (New York, NY), 1978.
Nightmare Country, Putnam (New York, NY), 1981.
The Threshold, Putnam (New York, NY), 1984.
Murder at Moot Point, Doubleday (New York, NY), 1992.
Death of the Office Witch, Penzler (New York, NY), 1993.
Murder in a Hot Flash, Penzler (New York, NY), 1995.
It's Murder Going Home, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1996.
Nobody Dies in a Casino, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 1999.
Killer Commute, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2000.
The Rampant Reaper, St. Martin's (New York, NY), 2002.
SIDELIGHTS: Marlys Millhiser's mystery novels concern Charlie Greene, a female literary agent living in Los Angeles who is drawn into murderous investigations in the film industry. In Murder in a Hot Flash, for example, Charlie is called in when her adopted mother, a biologist, is working as a consultant for a nature film being shot in the desert. Her mother has come to blows with a director shooting a science fiction film nearby, and when the director is found dead, Charlie must clear her mother of suspicion by finding the real killer. A critic for Publishers Weekly praised "Millhiser's accurate and often hilarious limning of the treacherous territory between mothers and daughters."
It's Murder Going Home finds Charlie caring for her now-ailing mother in Colorado, although her time is divided by confrontations with angry townspeople, observing suspicious activities, and becoming involved in solving three murders in the neighborhood. Although finding the novel to be a "fragmented and disjointed story," a critic for Publishers Weekly cited "Charlie's upbeat wit and promising romance" as highpoints in the story.
A Publishers Weekly contributor called Millhiser's The Rampant Reaper an "amusing and wacky tale of murder and mayhem." This time the action takes place in small-town Iowa, where Charlie travels with her estranged birth mother to attend a funeral. When the snow begins to fall Charlie's regret over making the trip deepens, and when a string of murders begin to occur at a nearby nursing home her sleuthing skills are once again needed. The Publishers Weekly contributor praised Millhiser for her "strong plot and a vividly described setting," while in Library Journal Rex Klett called The Rampant Reaper a "rousing clash" between city-bred expectations and country life.
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Kirkus Reviews, June 15, 2002, review of The Rampant Reaper, p. 842.
Library Journal, September 1, 1997, p. 223; July, 2002, Rex Klett, review of The Rampant Reaper, p. 126.
Publishers Weekly, January 23, 1995, p. 63; October 7, 1996, p. 64; June 17, 2002, review of The Rampant Reaper, p. 45.