As reported by Variety, best-selling thriller novelist Mary Higgins Clark—the so-called “Queen Of Suspense” behind Where Are The Children?, A Stranger Is Watching, and The Cinderella Murder—has died. Higgins Clark died on Friday “peacefully” and “surrounded by family” according to a statement shared by her publisher, Simon & Schuster, which you can see below. Clark was 92.
Higgins Clark was born in New York in 1927, and as Variety notes, she made a habit of recording “most of her childhood memories” in journals as a kid, establishing an early love for reading and writing that led to her writing poems and plays for her friends. Her father died in 1939, leaving her mother to take care of the family and teaching the young Higgins Clark about the strength of women in the face of adversity (something she eventually carried into her writing career). She studied in writing in school and eventually got a job as a secretary, but a sudden taste for international experiences inspired her to leave the job and take a position as a flight attendant for Pan American.
After a year, Higgins Clark returned to the states, got married, and began studying writing at NYU before having children. By 1969, her husband Warren Clark had been diagnosed with a heart condition and had several heart attacks, forcing Higgins Clark to get a job of her own and take pressure of him. Shortly after accepting a position writing for radio, Higgins Clark’s husband died. She continued writing short stories and eventually transitioned into novels, with her debut being a love story about George and Martha Washington titled Aspire To The Heavens. When it failed to make much of an impact, she gave writing thrillers a try and released Where Are The Children?, a well-received best-seller that kicked off a prolific career in the suspense genre.
Higgins Clark is survived by multiple children, including mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark.