Mary Higgins Clark Popular Books

Mary Higgins Clark Biography & Facts

Mary Higgins Clark (born Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins (December 24, 1927 – January 31, 2020) was an American author of suspense novels. Each of her 51 books was a bestseller in the United States and various European countries, and all of her novels remained in print as of 2015, with her debut suspense novel, Where Are the Children?, in its seventy-fifth printing. Higgins Clark began writing at an early age. After several years working as a secretary and copy editor, she spent a year as a stewardess for Pan-American Airlines before leaving her job to marry and start a family. She supplemented the family's income by writing short stories. After her husband died in 1964, Higgins Clark worked for many years writing four-minute radio scripts until her agent persuaded her to try writing novels. Her debut novel, a fictionalized account of the life of George Washington, did not sell well, and she decided to exploit her love of mystery/suspense novels. Her suspense novels became very popular, and have sold more than 100 million copies in the United States alone. Her daughter Carol Higgins Clark and former daughter-in-law Mary Jane Clark, are also writers. Early life Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins was born on Christmas Eve 1927, although some sources mistakenly cite 1929 as the year, the second child and only daughter of Nora C. (Durkin) and Luke Joseph Higgins. Her father was an Irish immigrant and her mother was American-born, also of Irish descent. The United States census gives her age in April 1940 as 12, which indicates her year of birth is 1927, as that was her age at her last birthday, the question asked by census enumerators.She was born about a year and a half after the birth of her older brother, Joseph. Her younger brother John, followed three years later. Even as a small child, she was interested in writing, composing her first poem at age seven and often crafting short plays for her friends to enact. She began keeping a journal when she was seven years old, noting in her first entry, "Nothing much happened today."The family lived off the earnings from their Irish pub and were fairly well-off, owning a home in the Bronx and a summer cottage on Long Island Sound. Although the Great Depression began when Higgins Clark was still a baby, her family was initially not affected, and even insisted on feeding the men who knocked on their door looking for work. By the time Higgins Clark was ten, however, the family began to experience financial trouble, as many of their customers were unable to pay the bar tabs they had run up. Higgins Clark's father was forced to lay off several employees and work longer hours, spending no more than a few hours at home each day. The family was thrown into further turmoil in 1939, when young Mary returned home from an early Mass to discover that her father had died in his sleep.Nora Higgins, now a widow with three young children to support, soon discovered that few employers were willing to hire a 52-year-old woman who had not held a job in over fourteen years. To pay the bills, Higgins Clark was forced to move out of her bedroom so that her mother could rent it out to paying boarders. Six months after their father's death, Higgins Clark's older brother cut his foot on a piece of metal and contracted severe osteomyelitis. Higgins Clark and her mother prayed constantly for him, and their neighbors came en masse to give blood for the many transfusions the young boy needed. Despite the dire predictions of the doctors, Joseph Higgins survived. Higgins Clark credits his recovery to the power of their prayers.When Higgins Clark graduated from Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School, she received a scholarship to continue her education at the Villa Maria Academy, a school run by the nuns of the Congregation de Notre Dame de Montreal. There, the principal and other teachers encouraged Higgins Clark to develop her writing, although they were somewhat less than pleased when she began spending her class time writing stories instead of paying attention to the lesson. At sixteen, Higgins Clark made her first attempt at publishing her work, sending an entry to True Confessions, which was rejected.To help pay the bills, she worked as a switchboard operator at the Shelton Hotel, where she often listened in to the residents' conversations. In her memoir she recalls spending much time eavesdropping on Tennessee Williams but complained that he never said anything interesting. On her days off, Higgins Clark would window shop, mentally choosing the clothes she would wear when she finally became a famous writer.Despite Higgins Clark's contribution to the family finances, the money her mother earned babysitting was not enough, and the family lost their house and moved into a small three-room apartment. When Joseph graduated from high school in 1944, he immediately enlisted in the Navy, both to serve his country during war and to help his mother pay her bills. Six months after his enlistment he contracted spinal meningitis and died. Although the family mourned Joseph's death deeply, as his dependent, Nora was guaranteed a life pension and no longer needed her daughter's help to pay the bills. Early career Soon after Joseph died, Higgins Clark graduated from high school and attended Wood Secretarial School on a partial scholarship. After completing her coursework the following year, she accepted a job as the secretary to the head of the creative department in the internal advertising division at Remington Rand. She soon enrolled in evening classes to learn more about advertising and promotion. Her growing skills, as well as her natural beauty, were noticed by her boss and others in the company, and her job was expanded to include writing catalog copy (alongside future novelist Joseph Heller) and to model for the company brochures with a then unknown Grace Kelly.Although she enjoyed her job, Higgins Clark's imagination was sparked by an acquaintance's casual comment, "God, it was beastly hot in Calcutta." Inspired to become a flight attendant like her acquaintance, Higgins Clark underwent rigorous interviews to earn a position as a flight attendant (then known as stewardess) for Pan American Airlines, making five dollars less a week than in her secretarial job. Her supervisor at Remington Rand hosted a goodbye dinner for her, and Higgins Clark invited her neighbor, Warren Clark, whom she had admired for years, to be her date. By the end of the evening Warren Clark had informed her that he thought she should work as a stewardess for a year, and then they should be married the following Christmas. Higgins Clark accepted the somewhat unorthodox proposal.For most of 1949, she worked the Pan Am international flights, traveling through Europe, Africa, and Asia. One of her flights became the last flight allowed into Czechoslovakia before the Iron Curtain fell. On another of her flights, Higgins Clark escorted a four-year-old orphan down the steps of the airplane into the wai.... Discover the Mary Higgins Clark popular books. Find the top 100 most popular Mary Higgins Clark books.

Best Seller Mary Higgins Clark Books of 2023

  • The Cinderella Murder synopsis, comments

    The Cinderella Murder

    Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

    In this collaboration between “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and bestselling author Alafair Burke, “the snappy pace, layered characters, and many plot surprises will keep r...

  • While My Pretty One Sleeps synopsis, comments

    While My Pretty One Sleeps

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A stunning tale of murder, glamour, and romance, While My Pretty One Sleeps is the most exciting novel yet from Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense.Neeve Kearny may be the on...

  • Deck the Halls synopsis, comments

    Deck the Halls

    Mary Higgins Clark

    In their first acclaimed work of collaboration, Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark, create an exciting and entertai...

  • The Lottery Winner synopsis, comments

    The Lottery Winner

    Mary Higgins Clark

    Mary Higgins Clark, the bestselling “Queen of Suspense,” returns with Alvirah Meehanone of her most beloved charactersin these six dazzling, intertwined, and thrilling tales of sle...

  • All Around The Town synopsis, comments

    All Around The Town

    Mary Higgins Clark

    Mary Higgins Clark, the Queen of Suspense, crafts a terrifying story of murder and obsession with “a slambam finish” (Los Angeles Times Book Review).When Laurie Kenyon, a twentyone...

  • The Christmas Thief synopsis, comments

    The Christmas Thief

    Mary Higgins Clark

    Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and her daughter, bestselling mystery writer Carol Higgins Clark, have again joined forces to create a suspenseful and humorous hol...

  • Stillwatch synopsis, comments


    Mary Higgins Clark

    Intrigue abound in the Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark's Stillwatch, as a young journalist uncovers secrets from the past that could destroy her.I told you not to come...Slipp...

  • The Better Sister synopsis, comments

    The Better Sister

    Alafair Burke

    A Washington Post and Sun Sentinel Best Book of the Year“One hell of a riproaring read.” Seattle Review of Books“Cunning. . . . Get ready to be led down the garden path to a c...

  • Santa Cruise synopsis, comments

    Santa Cruise

    Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark

    America’s Queen of SuspenseMary Higgins Clarkjoins forces with her daughter Carolbestselling author of the Regan Reilly mysteriesin this fastpaced novel set on a special holiday cr...

  • Gypped synopsis, comments


    Carol Higgins Clark

    When Regan Reilly returned to the West Coast, where she began her career as a PI, she never imagined that her unsuccessful appearance on a game show seven years earlier would throw...

  • The Sleeping Beauty Killer synopsis, comments

    The Sleeping Beauty Killer

    Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

    The third thrilling novel in the Under Suspicion series by #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke follows television prod...

  • Every Breath You Take synopsis, comments

    Every Breath You Take

    Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

    The New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series by the “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke returns with this gripping mystery following television produc...

  • Two Little Girls in Blue synopsis, comments

    Two Little Girls in Blue

    Mary Higgins Clark

    Queen of Suspense and #1 New York Times bestselling writer Mary Higgins Clark brilliantly weaves the mystery of twin telepathy into a mother’s search for a kidnapped child, presume...

  • I Heard That Song Before synopsis, comments

    I Heard That Song Before

    Mary Higgins Clark

    In a riveting psychological thriller, Mary Higgins Clark takes the reader deep into the mysteries of the human mind, where memories may be the most dangerous things of all.Kay Lans...

  • After The Night synopsis, comments

    After The Night

    Linda Howard

    The New York Times bestselling author of Open Season weaves a sizzling novel of love and hate between the girl from the wrong side of the tracks and the town’s wealthy and powerful...

  • Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry synopsis, comments

    Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry

    Mary Higgins Clark

    An electrifying thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark!When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a “CRya...

  • Moonlight Becomes You synopsis, comments

    Moonlight Becomes You

    Mary Higgins Clark

    From Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark, a thriller “that grabs you with the first paragraph and never lets go” (USA TODAY) about a woman desperate to uncover the truth behind he...

  • Inherit the Dead synopsis, comments

    Inherit the Dead

    Lee Child

    This New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller is a collaboration between twenty bestselling mystery novelists who have joined forces to create a spellbinding story of love, betrayal...

  • Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories synopsis, comments

    Death Wears a Beauty Mask and Other Stories

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A oneofakind mystery collection that showcases the immense storytelling talent #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has honed over her tremendous careerincluding...

  • As Time Goes By synopsis, comments

    As Time Goes By

    Mary Higgins Clark

    The #1 New York Times bestselling “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark crafts a thrilling mystery in which a news reporter develops an interest in her birth parents just as she i...

  • Carol Higgins Clark Boxed Set - Volume 1 synopsis, comments

    Carol Higgins Clark Boxed Set - Volume 1

    Carol Higgins Clark

    Three complete novels from the Regan Reilly mystery series: Zapped, Cursed, and Wrecked.Join Regan Reilly as she takes on NYC during a blackout, returns to LA to help a friend out ...

  • Never Tell synopsis, comments

    Never Tell

    Alafair Burke

    This addictive thriller from New York Times bestselling author Alafair Burke draws its details from the author’s own experiences as a criminal law professor and deputy district att...

  • A Cry In the Night synopsis, comments

    A Cry In the Night

    Mary Higgins Clark

    When Jenny MacPartland meets the man of her dreams while working in a New York art gallery, she's ecstatic. Painter Erich Krueger whose exquisite landscapes are making him a huge ...

  • A Stranger Is Watching synopsis, comments

    A Stranger Is Watching

    Mary Higgins Clark

    Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark brings suspense and intrigue to this story of a family beginning to heal from a brutal murder, but the accused man in jail maintains his innoc...

  • My Gal Sunday synopsis, comments

    My Gal Sunday

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A dashing expresident and his young congresswoman bride become an irresistible sleuthing duo in four acclaimed stories from the #1 New York Times bestselling Queen of Suspense.Henr...

  • Dashing Through the Snow synopsis, comments

    Dashing Through the Snow

    Mary Higgins Clark & Carol Higgins Clark

    From beloved motherdaughter duo Mary Higgins Clark, America's Queen of Suspense, and Carol Higgins Clark, author of the hugely popular Regan Reilly mystery series, comes Dashing Th...

  • The Second Time Around synopsis, comments

    The Second Time Around

    Mary Higgins Clark

    The "Queen of Suspense," Mary Higgins Clark, delivers a gripping tale of deception and tantalizing twists that could have been ripped from today's headlines.When Nicholas Spencer, ...

  • Just Take My Heart synopsis, comments

    Just Take My Heart

    Mary Higgins Clark

    The bestselling Queen of Suspense delves into a legal battle over the guilt or innocence of a man accused of murdering his wife, while weaving in an eerie, littleunderstood but doc...

  • The Wife synopsis, comments

    The Wife

    Alafair Burke

    “This might be the most gripping, insightful work from the bestselling author Alafair Burke yet. She poses a seemingly impossible, if undeniably compelling, challenge: a woman must...

  • Bones Are Forever synopsis, comments

    Bones Are Forever

    Kathy Reichs

    #1 New York Times bestselling author Kathy Reichs, a producer of the Fox hit show Bones, is back with her fifteenth “pulsepounding” (Publishers Weekly) novel featuring North Americ...

  • The Melody Lingers On synopsis, comments

    The Melody Lingers On

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A headlinemaking finance scandal and a breathtaking tale of deception collide in #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark’s finest thriller yet.As the sole assistant...

  • Mobbed synopsis, comments


    Carol Higgins Clark

    Now in mass market, New York Times bestselling author Carol Higgins Clark delivers the fourteenth installment in her crowdpleasing Regan Reilly mystery series, this one set on the ...

  • The Cradle Will Fall synopsis, comments

    The Cradle Will Fall

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A “superbly plotted” (Los Angeles Times) pageturning classic from the undisputed Queen of Suspense and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark.A minor road accident...

  • All Dressed in White synopsis, comments

    All Dressed in White

    Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

    The second in the thrilling New York Times bestselling series from Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, follows television producer Laurie Moran as she investigates the cold case ...

  • All by Myself, Alone synopsis, comments

    All by Myself, Alone

    Mary Higgins Clark

    A glamorous cruise on a luxurious ocean liner turns deadly in the latest mystery from “Queen of Suspense” and #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark.Fleeing a disa...

  • You Belong to Me synopsis, comments

    You Belong to Me

    Mary Higgins Clark

    “The mistress of high tension” (The New Yorker) and undisputed Queen of Suspense Mary Higgins Clark brings us another New York Times bestselling novel that USA TODAY calls “her pag...

  • Piece of My Heart synopsis, comments

    Piece of My Heart

    Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke

    In the latest thrilling collaboration from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke, television producer Laurie Moran must ...

  • Wrecked synopsis, comments


    Carol Higgins Clark

     Private Investigator Regan Reilly and her husband, Jack "no relation" Reilly, head of the NYPD Major Case Squad, are about to celebrate their first wedding anniversary. They ...