Mary Higgins Clark, Famed Mystery Writer, Dies at 92

Published on February 1, 2020

Mary Higgins Clark, known as ‘The Queen of Suspense’, passed away Friday in Naples, Florida peacefully at the age of 92. Her longtime publisher, Simon & Schuster, broke the news on Twitter.

According to a more in-depth statement posted to the author’s website by the CEO of Simon & Schuster, Carolyn K. Reidy, Clark died from the complications of old age.

The Remarkable Mary Higgins Clark

Clark was a prolific author of beloved mystery novels. She wrote more than 50 novels, which have sold over 100 million copies. In 1988, Clark signed an eight-figure agreement with Simon & Schuster. The deal is thought to be the first agreement of that size involving a single author.

“But these storied publishing accomplishments tell only a small part of the larger story that is Mary Higgins Clark.” said Reidy, “She was, simply, a remarkable woman who overcame an early life of hardship and challenges, never doubting her ability as a natural-born storyteller (and she was one for the ages), and who persevered through trial and rejection until she at last achieved her Holy Grail of being a published author.”

Mary Higgins Clark wrote short stories for most of her life, but it was not until she was a widow with five children that she first began writing novels. She did not find success in writing until later in life, making her an inspiration for those who may think it’s too late to chase their dreams.

Her first novel, “Aspire to the Heavens” (1969), was not initially a commercial success, but her second, “Where Are the Children?” (1975), catapulted her to an almost permanent place on the best-seller’s list for decades.

Clark’s work is known for its page-turning writing style, as well as its ability to keep readers hooked. Her books often feature crimes against children and telepathy, as well as female protagonists and usually male antagonists.

“Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did; she understood them as if they were members of her own family,” said Michael Korda, editor-in-chief emeritus at Simon and Schuster, “She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read—and, perhaps more important, what they didn’t want to read.”

Remembrances from The Community

Tributes to the late author are pouring in from fans, friends, and colleagues in the hours after her passing.

Clark is remembered not only for her immense storytelling talent, but also her incredible work ethic, and her kindness.

Olivia Smith is a Staff Writer at Grit Daily. Based in San Francisco, she covers events, entertainment, fashion, and technology. She also serves as a Voices contributor at PopSugar.

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