Mary Higgins Clark, the best-selling author known as the "Queen of Suspense," has died. The legendary novelist known for her series of mystery books passed away on January 31 in Naples, Florida at age 92, the New York Times reports.
Higgins Clark's longtime publisher, Simon & Schuster, also shared the sad news on Twitter. The publisher revealed that the beloved writer passed away "peacefully" and was surrounded by family and friends when she died.
"Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did," Higgins Clark's longtime editor Michael Korda said in a statement posted by Fox News. "She understood them as if they were members of her own family. She was always absolutely sure of what they wanted to read — and, perhaps more important, what they didn't want to read — and yet she managed to surprise them with every book."Higgins Clark, who began writing as a child, published her first book, Aspire to the Heavens, in 1969. The book was about George Washington and was later retitled Mount Vernon: A Love Story. Her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children? came in 1975 and became an instant best-seller. The famous book is now in its 75th printing.
Higgins Clark's books have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States. Forty of her books are bestsellers, including Where Are the Children? and A Stranger Is Watching, which were both later adapted into feature films. The writer also co-authored several suspense novels with her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, as well as a series of children's books and a memoir, Kitchen Privileges, during her 50-year-career. Several of Higgins Clark's books were made into TV movies, including The Cradle Will Fall in 1983 and Moonlight Becomes You in 1998.
Literary honors also came her way. Higgins Clark was awarded the French literary prize Grand Prix de Littérature Policière in 1980, and she was inducted as a Grand Master of the Edgar Allen Poe Awards by the Mystery Writers of America in 2000.
Higgins Clark never stopped writing. The beloved writer's last book, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, was published in November 2019. The book addressed the very timely topic of the MeToo movement.
In her final interview with USA Today, which took place via email just two months before her death, Higgins Clark explained her decision to keep writing even though she was in her 90s.
"I'm a storyteller," the author explained. "This is what I do. I can't imagine what I would do all day if I didn't write. Honestly, I hope I never find out."
Higgins Clark's passing comes two years after the death of fellow mystery writer Sue Grafton, who was best known for the "alphabet" series of novels.