Mar 30, 2020
Beast In View
Posted by Margaret Millar

A psychological thriller by a mistress of suspense at the top of her form and 1956 winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award What starts with a crank call from an old school chum sets the lonely, aloof, financially comfortable Miss Helen Clarvoe on a path as predictable only as madness Lured from her rooms in a second rate residential Hollywood hotel, she finds herself strandeA psychological thriller by a mistress of suspense at the top of her form and 1956 winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award What starts with a crank call from an old school chum sets the lonely, aloof, financially comfortable Miss Helen Clarvoe on a path as predictable only as madness Lured from her rooms in a second rate residential Hollywood hotel, she finds herself stranded in the perilous terrain of extortion, pornography, vengeance, and ultimately murder.

  • Title: Beast In View
  • Author: Margaret Millar
  • ISBN: 9780786706679
  • Page: 290
  • Format: Paperback
  • Beast In View A psychological thriller by a mistress of suspense at the top of her form and winner of the Edgar Allan Poe Award What starts with a crank call from an old school chum sets the lonely aloof fin


    A gripping and unsettling thriller that's brilliantly written.Margaret Millar was the wife of Ross MacDonald. What a talented couple! This is considered to be her masterpiece, winning the Edgar Award over another wonderful literary thriller The Talented Mr. Ripley and finding a place in Crime and Mystery: The 100 Best Books as chosen by H.R.F. Keating amongst other similar lists.Helen Carvoe receives a crank call, with the help of her semi-retired stockbroker cajoled in to working as a reluctant [...]

    Nancy Oakes

    Like a 3.75 rounded up. My first, but not last, novel by Margaret Millar, Beast in View is really more of a story of psychological suspense rather than a full-blown crime novel, set in Southern California of the 1950s.Helen Clarvoe, a young woman now 30, lives alone in a small hotel in Hollywood. Her mother, with whom she only rarely communicates by mail, lives six miles away with her brother Douglas. Helen lived there in a self-imposed isolation from the rest of the world, "behind her wall of m [...]


    Margaret Millar was a Canadian writer known for her marriage to Ross MacDonald one of the most well respected mystery writers of all time. However don't fall into the trap of thinking she married a prominent mystery writer, adored him, and lived contentedly in his shadow. Margaret did not need to stand in any body's shadow when it came to writing suspense novels. She was a force. Think of Patricia Highsmith and Ruth Rendell and you have female mystery writers who wrote in a similar vein and shar [...]

    Carla Remy

    Very 1950s (came out in 1955), with psychology (multiple personality disorder) and a portrait of homosexuality that made me cringe. I so want to love Margaret Millar but, despite her good writing, interesting plots and memorable situations, I do not.


    Don't let the quaint 1950s setting and dated social attitudes mislead you. This is a first-rate psychological suspense mystery. Devastating climax helps to make it MM's masterpiece. Won the Edgar in 1956.


    Soho Syndicate is in the process of re-publishing many of Margaret Millar’s suspense novels. Millar was a renowned, award-winning suspense novelist of the fifties. Interestingly, her husband is better known by his pen name, Ross MacDonald. Truly, a literary power couple. Beast in View is a rather short novel, even by mid-fifties standards. It has an unusual feel to it of distance and detachment and has been described as a psychological suspense novel. I don’t know if it’s typical of Millar [...]

    Phillip Thurlby

    An absolute masterpiece, they should stick this in some sort of series of masterpieces of crimeoh yeah - "Crime Masterworks" - they did it already.So not surprisingly this was a brilliant work. It was deeply dark in a elegantly sinister way that not so much stabs you in the back but convinces you that you need to stab yourself in the back. The perpetrator leaves no evidence and does nothing criminal but drives their victims to destruction in such a way as to make the evil undeniable.The range of [...]


    Dated, but who gives a ship. This was a thorny, garish little novel with a dark dark heart, and worth it for that astonishing last line alone.

    Ben Loory

    "She pressed the knife into the soft hollow of her throat. She felt no pain, only a little surprise at how pretty the blood looked, like bright and endless ribbons that would never again be tied."


    Spoilers ahead.The book industry seems to have a longstanding sizing code in place for its product; differing products get their own standardized treatment, via formatting or editing, to a genre-specific size. Popular Pocket books and Penguins of the forties and fifties seemed to have pretty set dimensions, and the page count was reliably 120 to 160 pages. Very often when we read a title these days it may come in a different format and the fact that it was squeezed or stretched to fit a now-none [...]


    Beast in View is a suspenseful psychological thriller by Margaret Millar. Winner of the 1956 Edgar Award for Best Novel and also named one of the Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time by the Mystery Writers of America, the novel may be a bit dated in its views of homosexuality and use certain psychological terms but it still packs quite a punch.At thirty, Helen Clarvoe may be rich but she is lonely. Her only visitors are the staff at the hotel where she lives and her only phone calls come from a st [...]

    Jayaprakash Satyamurthy

    This seems to be my season for reading about fragmented and disintegrating personalities. An isolated, neurotic woman starts receiving nasty phone calls from a mysterious stranger. As more people start to receive these calls, always containing information, true or false, that has a devastating impact on their lives, it turns out that the caller is no stranger at all. How little of a stranger she is becomes clear only as the story reaches its perfectly-pitched climax. Millar's writing is impeccab [...]

    Jim Angstadt

    Beast In ViewMargaret MillarThis edition used a bold, normal-sized font everywhere. That made it a little difficult to read. The story was dated, perhaps from the mid-1960s. The dating apparently was needed to set up the initial reader interest. Three strikes, you're out.2017.07.25 update: This book was published in 1955, so my comment on the story being dated was just plain wrong.


    I first heard about this book when I was looking through a list of the 100 best mystery books of all time. Beast in View is a classic and had apparently been out of print for awhile like many of Margaret Millar's other books. This one was written the same year as The Talented Mr. Ripley by Patricia Highsmith, one of my all-time favorite author and psychological thrillers. Beast in View even won the Edgar Allan Poe Mystery Award over Ripley in 1956. Well, what do you know.This book had me munchin [...]


    BEAST IN VIEW. (1955). Margaret Millar. ****.Margaret Millar was the wife of Ross Macdonald, and a very popular and prolific writer on her own. This novel explores an eerie relationship between a woman with ‘phoneitis’ (you will have to read the book for a definition here) and a host of people from her past. Today we would call Evelyn Merrick a crank caller – a person who persistently calls people on the phone and ultimately threatens them with revealing happenings from their past. It’s [...]

    Kim Fay

    Three down, seven to go in my goal to read the first 10 Edgar Award winners for best novel. (It turns out I'm a little out of order because I thought the award started in 1954 but it actually started in 1951 - despite that shift, the first 10 are a balance of men and women, something I hope to explore once I'm done reading them all.) As for "Best in View," while I was reading it I found myself thinking about a lot of today's suspense novels - many rely heavily on shock value. This one, on the ot [...]

    Sherry Schwabacher

    I was seven when this book was first published. It is so easy to forget how different the world felt to women, gays, African-Americans back then. If you wonder if we are making any social progress, read this. Millar was known for the psychological depth of her books and the plot of Beast in View certainly plays that up. You may find yourself shaking your head, wondering "How can they think that way?" Well, remember, they really did!


    That was a lot of fun! I would suggest reading this one straight through in one sitting.

    Lukasz Pruski

    This is a very difficult review for me to write, perhaps the most difficult of the 300+ lame reviews I have produced so far. Margaret Millar's "Beast in View" received the "coveted" Edgar Allan Poe Award for Best Novel of the year in 1956, yet I do not like it at all, and had to work hard to finish reading it. There must be something wrong with me.Helen Clarvoe, a well-off, young, but lonely woman receives a nasty phone call from one Evelyn Merrick, who predicts that bad things will happen to He [...]


    This psychological novel must have seemed very new and shocking at the time it was written, but feels quite old hat now. Another book with truly unengaging characters, it was the third winner of the Edgar for Best Novel. It took me 6 weeks to get through this rather short book, as it was a distasteful subject and (once again) not a classic detective story. I would term it a psychological thriller. Helen Clarvoe, a wealthy recluse although she is only 30-ish, calls her attorney to report that she [...]


    After that disappointing Vargas experience, I was very pleased to have read Millar’s book that same day I checked it out of the library. I came to this book, published in 1955, after having read an article about “Gone Girl”, by G. Flynn. It had been out of print for some time, but it seems to be back. It is a psychological thriller written in the likes of Highsmith and Rendell. The ambiance is definitely 1950s LA, which I really enjoyed; and do I dare mention there is something about this [...]


    Beast In View was a true gem. I've enjoyed a couple of her other books in the past few years, when I've been able to find copies. The Soft Talkers was one of my favourites of last year. Beast in View is another 5-star read. It's such an interesting story. I love how Millar develops her plots. Is it about Helen Clarvoe, who lives alone in her apartment, isolated from the world about her? Is it about Mr. Blackshear, Helen's financial adviser, bored with his work, who she asks to help her find the [...]

    Sam Reaves

    This is the 1956 Edgar winner by Margaret Millar, wife of Kenneth Millar aka Ross Macdonald. The husband wound up being better remembered; many will argue he was not the better writer. I'm not going to weigh in on that until I read a lot more Margaret Millar, but on the basis of this one I'd say the woman could hold her own at that table.A lonely, neurotic woman lives estranged from her mother and brother. She is harassed by phone calls from the brother's ex-wife and calls on her deceased father [...]


    La protagonista de esta historia es una millonaria excéntrica que vive encerrada en un cuarto de hotel porque no soporta a su familia. Una vez dicho eso, resulta un poco más comprensible porqué habría de recibir una llamada extraña y amenazadora de una mujer misteriosa.Este hecho, desencadenada la trama del libro. Helen, al no tener ni un solo amigo en el mundo, decide recurrir a su abogado para que le ayude a identificar a esta persona que la está llamando para decirle que va a morir en f [...]


    Not bad, I guess, but I had expected more. The bird's a loon, so no mystery to that. Millar's books are now largely out-of-print, but she is highly esteemed by professionals (writers and critics); less so, clearly, by readers. Millar was the wife of Ross MacDonald.

    Jose Moa

    Near Patricia Higsmith




    2 stars for being a sad relic of psycho-erotic pretensions. the high-concept plot became obvious halfway through and was unconvincing. some encounters are too convenient plotwise with no effort to either disguise the fact or call attention to coincidence. few words are devoted to nightmare images of "homosexuality" but symbolize dreaded dead-end pitfalls for a brother and sister otherwise confined to genteel isolation from Life with a capital L. hinting at the sordidness of the gay male lifestyl [...]


    This was also in Women Crime Writers: Four Suspense Novels of the 1950s. I guessed the outcome about halfway through the book. Also, there's some pretty serious homophobia going on here, so be warned. At one point, the male protagonist/hero type suddenly seems to fall in love with our damsel in distress. Literally from one page to the next, you go from avuncular to wooing. Weird.WOW. Just looked at some of the other reviews and can't believe this beat out The Talented Mr. Ripley for the Edgar Aw [...]

    Kathleen Gray

    I'm surprised but grateful that this has been reissued. Sometimes older novels get dismissed and that's just wrong. This is a good example of a taut suspense novel with a few twists that should keep you guessing. Millar doesn't hit you over the head with what's. happening to Helen and that makes this creepier. Today we would not describe a 30 year old woman as a spinster but that was the case in 1950s Los Angeles. Helen's got some issues (to say the least) but being harassed is something she did [...]

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      Posted by:Margaret Millar
      Published :2019-010-06T16:04:46+00:00