Mary Higgins Clark: Bestselling author dies aged 92

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From The Washington Post:

Mary Higgins Clark, who as a widowed mother of five in her 40s began a long reign as one of the most successful crime writers of all time, pouring out novel after novel about resilient women befallen by unnatural deaths, disappearances and wicked criminal deeds, died Jan. 31 in Naples, Fla. She was 92.

Her death was announced on her website and by her publisher, Simon and Schuster. The cause was not immediately available.

Known to her legions of fans as the “queen of suspense,” Ms. Higgins Clark was an almost instant sensation with the publication in 1975 of her first thriller, “Where Are the Children?” The story centered on a mother who, not for the first time, must prove her innocence when her children go missing.

Ms. Higgins Clark, who until then had struggled to support her family on her own, described herself in that moment as a “prospector stumbling on a vein of gold.”

Her output included dozens of novels that sold tens of millions of copies in hardcover, in paperback and in translation. Few, if any, critics placed her writing in the category of high literature. But Ms. Higgins Clark had discovered a crowd-pleasing — and profitable — formula for crime fiction.

After selling her first book for $3,000, she collected $1.5 million, including paperback rights, for her second novel, “A Stranger Is Watching” (1977), about a kidnapping in New York City’s Grand Central Terminal.

In 2000, after increasingly generous advances over the years, Simon and Schuster awarded Ms. Higgins Clark a $64 million contract for five books. The deal made her, per volume, the highest-paid female writer in the world, the New York Times reported.

Link to the rest at The Washington Post

2 thoughts on “Mary Higgins Clark: Bestselling author dies aged 92”

  1. I think she was probably the most engaging person I ever met. It was easy to see how she had become a best seller.

  2. In my youth I spent many a pleasant afternoon reading her books. It tickled me that her daughter starred in the movies based on her books, and then became a writer herself.

    Ninety-two! I hope MHC’s latter years were kind to her.

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