Margaret Millar's debut novel introduces readers to the psychiatrist Dr. Paul Prye, a cynical man of reason with a penchant for quoting William Blake and making enemies. When Prye finds himself first the suspect in a murder investigation and then the target of the murderer, he quickly sets his powerful mind to the task of solving the case. Strange currents bring a group of disparate characters to the home of George and Barbara Hays, but it isn't until one of the guests, Mr. Thomas Phillips, turns up dead that things start to get truly weird. Phillips was a man with a shady past-a womanizer and, rumor has it, a blackmailer. Potential motives, though yet unverified, are legion. Into this plot comes lanky psychologist Dr. Paul Prye, whom the authorities suspect and who is determined to solve the case himself. Brilliant, cynical, and often trying of his companions' patience, Prye sets himself to the task at hand, utilizing logic and his ability to psychologically profile, all the while making one enemy after another with his cutting wit. A little bit Doyle mixed with some Freud and a healthy dash of Oscar Wilde, the Paul Prye mysteries demonstrate that even at the beginning of her career Margaret Millar had the ability to defy the status quo.
by Margaret Millar
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