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Bestselling Author Mary Higgins Clark Has Died At 92

The "Queen of Suspense" published 56 books, each one a bestseller.

Posted on February 1, 2020, at 11:18 a.m. ET

Abaca Press / Sipa USA via AP

Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark, known as the "Queen of Suspense," died on Friday at 92 years old.

Carolyn K. Reidy, president and CEO of Higgins Clark's longtime publisher, Simon & Schuster, confirmed she died of "complications of old age."

In a career spanning over 45 years, Higgins Clark wrote 56 books, each one a bestseller; over 100 million copies have sold in the US alone. Her final book, Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry, a timely novel about a reporter investigating sexual misconduct allegations at a national news network, published in November 2019.

"It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Mary’s contribution to our success, and her role in the modern history of Simon & Schuster," Reidy wrote in a message on Higgins Clark's website. "She was, simply, a remarkable woman who overcame an early life of hardship and challenges, never doubting her ability as a natural-born storyteller (and she was one for the ages), and who persevered through trial and rejection until she at last achieved her Holy Grail of being a published author."

Higgins Clark was known for writing likable characters, whom she described in a 2015 Guardian interview as "very nice people whose lives are invaded." In that same profile, writer Sarah Weinman explained her widespread appeal: "[B]y leaving sex, violence and profanity strictly offstage ... Clark attracts a readership ranging in age from 10 to 90."

Fans and fellow authors are taking to Twitter to celebrate the prolific author, remembering her as a mentor and inspiration.

The work of Mary Higgins Clark was so immense and reached so many people-I used to read her books all summer and couldn't put them down until they were finished. Very few authors have this kind of storytelling talent. Rest In Peace, Ms. Clark and thank you. https://t.co/iLKlTxO1df

Mary Higgins Clark wrote some of the first "grown up" books I ever read and they were amazing and I saw her at a party a while ago (super elegant! such a lady!) and told her so which was a real thrill, what a life

Mary loved being a writer — and she loved her readers. She was kind to all. She was wonderful company and hilarious and warm and giving. She was supernaturally charismatic. She lit up every room she entered. And WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN was a game-changer. #MaryHigginsClark

I profiled Mary in 2015 because it was so important to state, for the record, how vital and transformative her suspense fiction was to the genre. And listening to her was a masterclass in writing. https://t.co/zvBQFqn6F0

Mary Higgins Clark was a class act. I'll always treasure the publishing advice she gave me. Ride out the rough patches and don't get greedy. My heart goes out to her lovely family. https://t.co/tE5nxM50Zj

"When someone is mean to me, I just make them a victim in my next book." -Mary Higgins Clark (she told me this during an interview once!) Rest In Peace dear Mary.

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