Mary Higgins Clark is an American-based author who specializes in the suspense genre. Al of her 51 books has become international bestsellers, with each enjoying immense success both in the United States and in European countries. Clark began writing at a very early age. After working for several years as a copy editor and also as a secretary, Clark spent one year working for Pan American Airlines as a stewardess. Clark had no option but to leave her job so that she could start a family, and get married as well. Unfortunately, her spouse passed away in the year 1964. Mary Clark Higgins began working as a radio scriptwriter, where she mainly focused on four-minute radio scripts.
Order of Under Suspicion Series
|1||I've Got You Under My Skin||2014|
|2||The Cinderella Murder||2014|
|3||All Dressed in White||2015|
|4||The Sleeping Beauty Killer||2016|
Order of Alvirah and Willy Series
|1||Weep No More, My Lady||1987|
|2||The Lottery Winner||1994|
|3||All Through the Night||1998|
|4||Deck the Halls - Movie Tie-In||2001|
|5||The Christmas Thief||2004|
|7||Dashing Through the Snow||2008|
|8||I'll Walk Alone||2011|
|9||The Lost Years||2012|
|10||As Time Goes By||2016|
|11||All By Myself, Alone||2017|
Order of Mary Higgins Clark Short Story Collections
|1||The Anastasia Syndrome||1989|
|2||Death on the Cape and Other Stories||1989|
|3||My Gal Sunday||1996|
|4||Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories||2015|
Order of Mary Higgins Clark Standalone Novels
Order of Mary Higgins Clark Non-Fiction Books
The author Mary Higgins Clark was born on Christmas Eve in 1927 in The Bronx, New York, to Irish immigrant parents. She was born Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins, with the Clark being assumed after her married in 1949 to her first husband, Warren Clark. Mary Higgins Clark was enamoured with writing from a young age, particularly writing poetry and plays. With her Irish background, it was only natural that Higgins Clark would have a religious upbringing, and she attended Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School, and when she graduated from there, she was awarded a scholarship to attend the Villa Maria Academy. It was at the Villa Maria Academy that Higgins Clark really developed her writing under the encouragement of the teaching staff.
After graduating from Villa Maria Academy, Mary Higgins Clark enrolled in Wood Secretarial School and went on to work as the secretary for the head of the creative department at Remington-Rand. While there, she developed a passion for advertising and she studied in night school to learn more. She was eventually asked to write copy for catalogues and also model for several brochures. However, it wasn’t the life for Mary Higgins Clark, and she went on to become a flight attendant for Pan-Am, travelling the world for a year, before settling down with her Warren Clark, her soon-to-be husband.
In the ’50s, Higgins Clark took writing courses to fill her time, and she eventually formed a writing workshop with friends, a group that lasted almost four decades. Although Higgins Clark’s work was widely praised in her group and also by her tutors, she was unable to make a breakthrough in terms of getting her work published. That was until 1956, when, after dozens of rejections, Extension Magazine published one of her pieces.
In 1964, after suffering several heart attacks, Warren Clark was deemed unfit to work, and so Mary had to get back into employment. So she got in touch with a friend who wrote scripts for radios and eventually landed a job writing for a radio segment called Portrait of a Patriot. Her work was deemed exemplary and she was brought on to write for other radio series. However, there was little financial stability in this work, and coupled with the dwindling demand for her short stories, things were starting to get hard for Higgins Clark. So she decided to use the experience she picked up writing for radio to write a fiction biography of the relationship of George Washing and his wife Martha. It took her three years, but Mary Higgins Clark finished her first full-length novel, Aspire to the Heavens. However, although copies of the book were sold, it was not the success Higgins Clark had hoped.
So in the ’70s, Higgins Clark started her own company which wrote radio scripts. But she never gave up her writing, and this time she turned to her childhood love of suspense novels for inspiration. In 1975, Mary Higgins Clark’s first suspense novel was published, Where are the Children? It was a huge commercial success and got Mary out of the financial straits she had found herself in. She then followed Where are the Children? Up with A Stranger is Watching, her second novel in the genre, which again was a huge hit.
Mary Higgins Clark has continued writing from that point out, and even her first novels, Aspire to the Heavens, became a huge hit when it was retitled Mount Vernon Love Story and republished in 2002. She even turned her hand to writing children’s fiction, with the novel Ghost Ship, which was published in 2007. And she has even kept some of the writing in the family, regularly collaborating with her daughter, Carol, to write the Christmas-themed novels in the Alvirah and Willy series.
The Queen of Suspense has picked up many, many awards in her time as a writer, including several lifetime achievement awards and many honorary doctorates. Several of Mary Higgins Clark’s books have also been adapted for stage or television, all pleasing fans of her work, new and old alike.
However, a few years into the business of writing radio scripts, her agent decided to try and persuade Clark into authoring novels. Clark’s first novel, which was a fictionalized account of George Washington’s life, which apparently did not perform so well. Thus, she decided to start penning down suspense and mystery novels. Clark’s suspense novels performed exceedingly well. By the year 2007, all her books had sold more than 80 million copies in the US alone. Despite the fact that various novels quote that Mary was born in the year 1927, Mary Higgins Clark was born in the year 1927 on Christmas Eve. She is the only daughter and second child of an Irish immigrant. When she was still a small child, Mary had an interest in writing, and she even composed her very first novel at the age of 7.
She also loved to compose short plays, which were performed by her friend. At the age of seven years, Mary Clark began keeping her journal, where she documented everything that happened throughout her day. Mary’s and her family relied on the earnings, which were generated from her family’s Irish Pub, which was a great amount of money. They even owned a cottage on Long Island and a home, which was located in the Bronx. Despite the fact that the great-depression had begun when Mary Higgins Clark was still an infant, her family was not in any way affected, and they even had more than enough to feed the people who came to their house looking for work. However, when Mary Clark Higgins turned ten years old, her family began to experience financial problems, especially since their customers were reluctant to pay whatever they owed the family. Thus, Mary Higgins father was forced to release a few employees and instead work for extra workers.
Mary Higgins Clark Awards
Clark is the recipient of numerous literary awards such as the Edgar Grandmaster Award, Anthony Award, and a Grand Prix literary award.
Mary Higgins Clark Books into Movies
Several of the works that Mary Higgins Clark has worked on have been adapted for screenplay. Some of the works that she is famously known for include Remember Me, Cradle Will Fall, Two Little Girls and My Girl Sunday.
Best Mary Higgins Clark Books
Where are the Children: This is one of the most outstanding works by Mary Higgins Clark. In Where are the Children, Clark introduces the readers to one Nancy Harmon. Nancy used to be a housewife who had two children One day; Nancy took her children to one of the local stores so that she could be able to buy a few things. Deciding that she was going to take a minute, she decides to leave her children inside the vehicle. When Nancy came back from the store, she discovered that all her children were gone together with her vehicle. A few days later, the children were located with plastic bags on their heads. Nancy became the prime suspect in the investigation. Eventually, she was acquitted because the main suspect in the investigation went missing.
To escape the prying locals and the reporters, Nancy had to move across the country so that she could be able to have a fresh start. Nancy eventually began a new life and got remarried once again. She eventually was blessed with two more children and the pain of losing her other children was beginning to fade away. Eventually, the horror began once again. One morning, Nancy’s children were playing outside, however, when she went outside to check on them, her children were gone. This time around, Nancy was more than determined to find out who was doing this to her. It proved to be an uphill task because once again everyone believed that she was the one responsible for the missing children.
Mary Higgins Clark FAQs
Q: What nationality is the author Mary Higgins Clark?
A: Mary Higgins Clark is an American author, and she has an Irish heritage.
Q: What is the name of Mary Higgins Clark’s first book?
A: Mary Higgins Clark’s first book is called Aspire to the Heavens, which was later republished under the name Mount Vernon Love Story. Her first book in the suspense genre was Where are the Children? which was published in 1975.