POOR MILLIE by Thomas Baird


Email this review


A rather tame and obvious excursion into domestic tension-and-crime by the always readable, always well-mannered Baird (The Way to the Old Sailors Home). ""Poor Millie"" is rich, 38-year-old Millie of Salisbury, Conn., who is driving her recently wed, gigolo-ish second husband Rob up the wall with her possessiveness. And when a thoroughly fed-up Rob announces his intention of spending the summer hiking in the Wyoming mountains with his oldest buddy Jerry, Millie--despite her fear of heights--insists on tagging along, with some neighbors in tow. This group expedition is a disaster, of course: Millie quaking, Rob scowling, tempers flaring, sides being taken. And then Millie follows Rob up a treacherous peak one day, doesn't return, and is found dead from a fall. Rob himself isn't sure quite what happened--half-murder? half-accident?--but he's admitting nothing, even when Millie's best friend accuses him and everyone clearly suspects him. He returns to Salisbury, collects his huge inheritance, and is. . . lonely for Millie. Not much here to gnaw on--little originality with the characters, less with the suspense--but Baird's quietly proficient storytelling subliminally lets you know that he's not trying to set the world on fire. When a writer is so straightforwardly modest in his tack, it's possible to settle in and settle for a little less.

Pub Date: Aug. 9th, 1978
Publisher: Harper & Row