Two of B. M. Gill’s mystery novels, Victims (1980) and Seminar for Murder (1985), are tightly written police procedurals with high puzzle value and fairly conventional “whodunit” plots. Death Drop (1979) and The Twelfth Juror (1984) are psychological portraits of victims, criminals, bereaved families, and innocent bystanders all trapped together by tragic events and emotional stresses beyond their control. The Fifth Rapunzel (1991) combines elements of both. Nursery Crimes (1986) is a sardonic analysis of a six-year-old murderess who wipes out pesky playmates and interfering adults with the cool aplomb of a baby Lizzie Borden.
Gill’s greatest contribution to the mystery genre lies in her ability to button herself (and her readers) into the skins of her characters. Their deeds and psyches are not merely described but rendered as well. Gill makes her readers feel each emotion—from humor to horror—and think each thought along with the character. Gill’s versatility in several genres and her emotional range are remarkable.