American author Mary Higgins Clark, known as the “Queen of Suspense” for penning dozens of thrilling bestselling novels, has died at the age of 92.
“It is with great sadness we say goodbye to the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark, author of over 40 bestselling suspense titles,” her publisher Simon & Schuster announced on Twitter.
“She passed away peacefully this evening, January 31, at the age of 92 surrounded by family and friends,” it added.
Born in the Bronx on Christmas Eve 1929 to Irish immigrants, Mary Higgins started her professional life as a secretary and part-time model. She then changed tracks to become a flight attendant but gave up work when she married Warren Clark in 1949
The couple went on to have five children and Higgins, who had taken writing classes after her wedding, started selling short stories.
Her husband’s death in 1964 and the financial difficulties that followed prompted her to write her first novel, “Aspire to the Heavens”, which was published in 1969.
Her second novel, her first suspense one, is the one which propelled her into recognition. “Where are the Children” (1975), inspired by a tabloid trial about a young woman accused of murdering her children, became an instant bestseller and led her to sign a multimillion-dollar contract with Simon & Schuster.
It was the first of a string of successful releases including “A Stranger Is Watching” (1977), “While My Pretty One Sleeps” (1989), “We’ll Meet Again” (1999), “Daddy’s Gone a Hunting (2013)”.