01 August 2013

Margaret Millar's Michigan Murder Mystery

Vanish in an Instant
Margaret Millar
New York: Dell, [1953]
224 pages

This review now appears, revised and rewritten, in my new book:
The Dusty Bookcase:
A Journey Through Canada's
Forgotten, Neglected, and Suppressed Writing
Available at the very best bookstores and through


  1. Have yet to read this one. I wonder if it will match the bleakness of THE HORIZONTAL MAN which wins my prize for the bleakest crime novel written by a woman.

    The Dell cover reminds me very much of the cover for Helen Nielesen's THE KIND MAN. Looks like the same artist. He's good with knives.

    Most of the IPL covers are horrid. The one above is dreadful. Looks the like the artist mixed up FIRE WILL FREEZE with THE CORPSE IN THE SNOWMAN by Nicholas Blake. Did you ever see Nicky Zann's work on these IPL books? The giant rabbits in top hats he did for the Clayton Rawson books are the worst of the lot.

    1. John, I remember reading your good piece on The Horizontal Man. Despite the bleakness, the voyeur in me is attracted by the possibility that the novel was written as an act of revenge on her adulterous husband. Must add that the author photo you present depicts a woman not to be crossed.

      I think you may be right about Griffith Foxley and The Kind Man. I know nothing about him, really, but what I see points to an odd career. It appears that when not producing sexy and violent paperback covers, he was working on illustrations to be used in Sunday schools.

      The IPL covers are horrid, nearly always committing what I think is one of the greatest sins: depicting a scene thgat does not take place in the book. After their Fire Will Freeze and An Air that Kills, I knew better than to expect a bloody knife sticking out of a snowman... or whatever that thing is supposed to be.

    2. Just got home and checked my copy of The Kind Man. Artwork is credited to Griffith Foxley on the copyright page. I knew it. Why can't I paid for this kind of work? [...grumble, grumble...]

    3. I hear ya, John. i hear ya.

  2. Vanish now in print here in the US as part of a Margaret Millar collection. One of five Millar novels in one book.