My self-imposed project to read through Margaret Millar continues, this time with the first in the Tom Aragon series, Ask for Me Tomorrow. He’s a young hispanic lawyer in Santa Felicia, Millar’s stand-in for Santa Barbara, and he’s hired by a middle-aged woman named Gilly to track down her first husband who disappeared with a young maid from their home a number of years ago.
It feels a lot like other Millars: there’s a strange-seeming religious group that Gilly’s cook belongs to, the Holy Sabbathians, very much like the the cult in How Like an Angel. There’s an outsider going into a strange world. Aragon is young, and first he’s an outsider at Gilly’s house with its array of hired help for her and her second husband, who suffered a stroke, and then in Baja, Mexico as he tracks down her first husband who spent time in the Rio Seco jail, a jail called the Quarry in a very smelly town. And finally, what makes this feel like other Millar books is her dialogue. There always seems to be something off in Aragon’s conversations: with his client Gilly, with the legal assistant in his office, with the people he meets in Rio Seco.
The characters are vivid oddballs, which makes this story stick with me. And she ends the story without a lot of telling, so pondering motives is what happened to me after I read the book.
I bought my copy of the book.