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Mystery Monday Review – Ask For Me Tomorrow

Ask For Me Tomorrow by Margaret Millar

 

Review by Matt B. (BuffaloSavage)

 

 

Gilda was married to B.J. Lockwood, a nice guy that bad stuff just happened to since he never learned from experience and was too dumb to foresee the risks of impulsive decisions. His decision to run off with their pregnant 15-year-old house girl back to her natal village in Mexico left Gilda at loose ends. Gilda then married Marco, who had a paralyzing stroke soon after their nuptials.

Wanting to conclude unfinished business with B.J., Gilda hires young lawyer Tom Aragon to go down Mexico way and find him. Though he’s by no means an experienced detective, Tom is bilingual and quickly finds out B.J. and a con man named Jenkins were jailed on fraud charges. Their hapless plan to convert a poor Baja California village into a resort transformed into a criminal enterprise mainly because they were both out of their financial league. As Tom gets closer to his quarry B.J., however, three brutal murders eliminate informants.  I found the ending a surprising hoot, while harder to please, less willing to be tricked readers of mystery may be less impressed.

Millar’s settings of Southern California and Mexico feel authentic and evocative though the attacks on the corruption endemic in both places may put off readers who like those places. The dialogue is snappy and funny, but sometimes we wonder if it is likely that sleazy Mexican cops out of Touch of Evil would really come up with such witty rejoinders. Many scenes shine as Gilda and Tom interact with each other, mainly by phone, and with a variety of curious characters. I think the exposition, dialogue and characterization make this one worth reading.

Margaret Millar was married to Kenneth Millar who wrote mysteries under the pen name of Ross Macdonald. If you like Macdonald, you will probably like Millar.

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