Books by Marlys Millhiser

VOICES IN THE WARDROBE by Marlys Millhiser
Released: Nov. 30, 2005

"More zanies than a launch party, most of them making only a fleeting impression before they're killed or arrested."
Murder and enemas at a San Diego Spa that seems to specialize in treating addicts by killing them or driving them crazy. Read full book review >
THE RAMPANT REAPER by Marlys Millhiser
Released: July 15, 2002

"With dementia looming for us all, don't waste your last moments of lucidity on Millhiser's cluttered, mean-spirited tale of the three ages of woman, with concomitant bodily emissions."
Los Angeles literary agent Charlie Greene (Killer Commute, 2000, etc.) thought the trip back to Great-aunt Gertie's funeral in Myrtle, Iowa, was strictly for her mother's sake. After all, as the adopted daughter of biology professor Edwina Greene, Charlie has no genetic connection with these yokels. But a cryptic pronouncement from nasty old Great-aunt Abigail reveals that Charlie was not only an unwed teenage mother, but the daughter of one of the town's seemingly innumerable unwed teenage mothers—all descendants of the original Myrtle, whose scandalous out-of-wedlock pregnancy got her locked up in the fruit cellar for good. This might be a chance for Charlie, with the help of marshal Delwood Brunsvold, to find her birth mother. But a trip to her birthplace sends Charlie on a detour to Gentle Oaks Nursing Home, where she discovers that what fertility is to youth, incontinence is to old age. In fact, the babbling residents in their droopy Depends are nothing more than human vegetables. Why doesn't someone put them out of their misery? And justlike that, someone promptly does. Edwina, Del, even sexy barkeep Kenny Cowper beg Charlie to discover who smothered Doris Wyborny and Ida Mae Truex, not to mention activities director Darla Lempke. And Charlie, who's been on the rag even since her plane touched down at Mason City, spends the few minutes between tampon-changes doing just that. Read full book review >
KILLER COMMUTE by Marlys Millhiser
Released: Oct. 1, 2000

"Like Charlie, Millhiser's latest tale of bitchy female triumphant spends hours on the road without covering any new ground."
Clever Charlie Greene (Nobody Dies in a Casino, 1999, etc.) has come a long way. Pregnant at 16, she finished her education and, daughter Libby in tow, went out to the West Coast to become a top talent agent. Still on the sunny side of 40, she manages a stable of successful screenwriters, enduring a nearly two-hour daily commute to the offices of Congdon & Morse from her condo in a gated community in Long Beach. She enjoys her neighbors—power attorney Maggie Stutzman, dotty old Betty Beesom, and even Jeremy Fiedler, a middle-aged lech with mood swings. She also maintains cordial relations with willful, beautiful Libby. But her safe, sane world falls apart when she discovers Jeremy dead inside his Trailblazer. The police invade her home. Someone plants a bomb outside the complex. Charlie loses her hearing. A woman in a long coat flees Jeremy's apartment at midnight. The police arrest Charlie, then release her. She regains her hearing. She has lunch with an old friend, federal agent David Dalrymple, who subsequently drops out of sight, only to return at a critical moment. Maggie has a heart attack. Betty Beesom admits that she knows something, but Charlie never finds out what it is. Instead, Libby's cat begins bringing home chewed-up $100 bills. Finally, the party responsible for Jeremy's death is revealed by actions that threaten the very core of Charlie's existence. Read full book review >
IT'S MURDER GOING HOME by Marlys Millhiser
Released: Dec. 9, 1996

As you'd expect, murder is the least of Charlie Greene's problems when she drops everything at her literary agency in L.A. and rushes back to Boulder with her daughter Libby to be at the side of Edwina Greene, the mother who never even told her that she had breast cancer. Edwina's friend and neighbor Reynelda Goff presses an unpublishable historical mystery on Charlie; Charlie's star author, still doing time in Folsom, acts as if he's going to fly the coop to another agent; and Edwina reveals she's taken advantage of her mastectomy to schedule some elective surgery at the same time. Someone in the neighborhood seems to be setting fires in the nearby mountains, cutting up cats, and killing deer in Columbia Cemetery, where Libby was conceived one memorably forgettable evening. All this, plus the murder of another neighbor, Andy Tollerude, whose body Charlie finds in the grave of legendary local son Tom Horn (two more homicides will follow). Squired by former fumbling teen Kenny Eisenburg, now a sexy cop giving visiting Hollywood hunk Mitch Hilsten a run for his money, Charlie ties the killings in to a sacrificial blood cult (!) that, as still another neighbor sagely remarks, ``is not good for property values.'' The kitchen-sink plotting makes Charlie's fourth (Murder in a Hot Flash, 1995, etc.) as busy, dizzy, and ultimately wearying as a real-life visit home. Count your blessings. Read full book review >
MURDER IN A HOT FLASH by Marlys Millhiser
Released: Feb. 1, 1995

A peremptory summons from her mother, Edwina, brings Los Angeles literary agent Charlie Greene (Death of the Office Witch, 1993, etc.) high-tailing it out to the Utah desert even before Edwina's arrested for murder. Seems that biology prof Edwina, who's been hired as technical advisor to the documentary Return of an Ecosystem, has a million complaints not only about scientific inaccuracies in the documentary but about the scorch- and-burn tactics of Gordon Cabot, who's directing a Z-grade feature called Animal Aliens just over the next sand dune. And since Edwina's wheedled Charlie, and Charlie's unwitting agency, to represent her, it makes perfect sense for Charlie to drop everything and rush to her side, where she'll come in very handy when Gordon is axed (literally) and her mom railroaded into the pokey. Millhiser, who doesn't stint on plotting, sends the story hurtling from a second fatality on the shoot to Charlie's Pit Stop Motel idyll with Hollywood hunk Mitch Hilsten (a one-nighter that makes national headlines the next day) and a wild, jokey boat trip—the cast of And Then There Were None adrift in the Grand Canyon—before dusting off one of her uniformly demented Tinseltown types for the featured role as the culprit. Funny and deadly accurate on Charlie's caustic relations with her mother and daughter, with appropriately creepy criminal relief. Charlie's best outing yet. Read full book review >
Released: Nov. 1, 1993

Literary agent Charlie Greene (Murder at Moot Point) arrives at her Beverly Hills office just in time to find receptionist Gloria Tuschman missing and to hear her disembodied voice whispering, ``Charlie, I'm in the trash can. Help me.'' Though Gloria's body is actually discovered in the bushes outside the office building, Charlie wonders whether she can use her newfound psychic powers, honed by a sÇance held by Gloria's real-life witches' coven, to figure out which of Gloria's blackmail victims in the office would kill to safeguard a guilty secret (exposure to AIDS, a prison record, a secret wife)—and what Gloria's death has to do with the disappearance of prickly novelist Mary Ann Leffler. Notable for its large, attractive cast, its shameless use of coincidence—you'll need to be psychic to tell which leads mean anything—and the breathtaking gaps that the final explanation never plugs. Puzzle addicts should leave this one alone. Read full book review >
MURDER AT MOOT POINT by Marlys Millhiser
Released: Oct. 20, 1992

Driving up to foggy Moot Point, Oregon, to deliver a contract to reclusive New Age author Jack Monroe, literary agent Charlie Greene finds her stay prolonged by the discovery of old Georgette Glick and her Schwinn under the wheels of Charlie's Toyota. Luckily, Sheriff Wes Bennett, who has a thing for Charlie, keeps her under house arrest at the Hide-a-bye Motel and even lets her mingle with the native Grape- Nuts—non-grieving widower Frank Glick; holistic florist Paige Magill; holistic veterinarian Doc Chuck Withers; fearful neighbor Gladys Bergkvist; and Byronic artist Michael Cermack, who's painted a picture of a hundred-year-old local shipwreck that Charlie's been having nightmares about for weeks. Has she been sharing out-of-body experiences with meditative Jack? What's the connection between Georgette's killing and the disappearance of Gladys's husband Olie? And do ``LIFE FORCE VITAMINS'' really give you a ``REJUVENATED SEX LIFE''? Entertainingly oddball—a refreshing spin on Millhiser's increasingly trying tales (The Mirror, The Threshold, etc.) of psychic adventure. Read full book review >