Mary Higgins Clark (website) is a world-known crime, mystery and thriller author. With over 50 suspense novel written to date, many readers and critics consider her the ‘queen of suspense’.
The author was born under the name Mary Theresa Eleanor Higgins in 1927 in The Bronx, New York and on Christmas Eve 2017 is celebrating her 90th birthday!
After graduating from Saint Francis Xavier Grammar School, Mary received a scholarship for the Villa_Maria_Academy so she can continue her studies.
She grew up in the times of the Great Depression and while initially her family was not affected, eventually poverty hit them as well when customers of their Irish pub could no longer pay their tabs.
After her father died, her mother could not find employment, so they had to rent out Mary’s room to renting boarders, forcing Mary to move out of the home so the family could survive.
While attending the Villa_Maria_Academy, Mary’s teachers encouraged her to start writing because they saw talent in her.
At the age of 16, she sent her first stories to a magazine, but they were rejected. She had bills to pay, so she got a job as a switchboard operator at the Shelton Hotel.
Around the time her brother died in the army after contracting spinal meningitis, Mary graduated from high-school and enrolled on a partial scholarship to Wood Secretarial School. After a year she took a job as a secretary at Remington-Rand, while studying advertising and promotion in evening classes.
In 1949 she switched careers and became a flight attendant (stewardess), and worked for Pan Am for one year traveling to numerous countries around the globe.
At the end of 1949, she married Warren Clark and resigned from her job. Now that she had time on her hands, she enrolled in several writing courses at NYU.
When her husband became sick and died of a heart attack in 1959, Mary had to go back to work. She initially worked as a radio scriptwriter, while writing her first book, Aspire to the Heavens.
In 1971 she enrolled at the Fordham University at Lincoln Center, from where she graduated summa cum laude in 1979, with a BA in philosophy.
During those years the author fell on hard times, however, she never stopped writing. She finished her first book Where are the Children? in 1974 and Simon & Schuster agreed to publish it.
After publication the book became a bestseller, cementing Mary’s resolve to become a published well-known author.
Mary Higgins Clark received several awards for her suspense novels, which have been translated into many languages selling millions of copies all around the world.
Reading her books in order means catching up to her two popular series, Alvirah & Willy and Under Suspicion, the first which includes 11 books and the second five books.
However, that is not all. The author has more standalone suspense novels written than books as part of series. I think I have read so far everything she has written until now and the author is truly one of a kind with her writing and tales.
Her latest book Every Breath You Take is the 5th in the Under Suspicion series and is published in 2017.
Here are the Mary Higgins Clark books in order for her two series and non-series novels to date.
Alvirah & Willy Series
1. Weep No More, My Lady (Alvirah & Willy #1), 1987
2. The Lottery Winner (Alvirah & Willy #2), 1994
3. All Through the Night (Alvirah & Willy #3), 1998
4. Deck the Halls (Alvirah & Willy #4), 2001
5. The Christmas Thief (Alvirah & Willy #5), 2005
6. Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea (Alvirah & Willy #6), 2006
7. Dashing Through the Snow (Alvirah & Willy #7), 2008
8. I’ll Walk Alone (Alvirah & Willy #8), 2011
9. The Lost Years (Alvirah & Willy #9), 2012
10. As Time Goes By (Alvirah & Willy #10), 2016
11. All By Myself, Alone (Alvirah & Willy #11), 2017
Under Suspicion Series
1. I’ve Got You Under My Skin (Under Suspicion #1), 2014
2. The Cinderella Murder (Under Suspicion #2), 2014
3. All Dressed in White (Under Suspicion #3), 2015
4. The Sleeping Beauty Killer (Under Suspicion #4), 2016
5. Every Breath You Take (Under Suspicion #5), 2017
Standalone Suspense Novels by Mary Higgins Clark
Where Are The Children?, 1975
A Stranger is Watching, 1977
The Cradle Will Fall, 1980
A Cry in the Night, 1982
Caribbean Blues, 1988
While My Pretty One Sleeps, 1989
The Anastasia Syndrome, 1989
All Around the Town, 1992
I’ll Be Seeing You, 1993
Remember Me, 1994
Let Me Call You Sweetheart, 1995
Silent Night, 1995
Moonlight Becomes You, 1996
My Gal Sunday, 196
Pretend You Don’t See Her, 1997
You Belong to Me, 1998
We’ll Meet Again, 1999
Before I Say Good-Bye, 2000
On The Street Where You Live, 2001
He Sees You When You’re Sleeping, 2001
Daddy’s Little Girl, 2002
The Second Time Around, 2003
Nighttime Is My Time, 2004
No Place Like Home, 2005
Two Little Girls in Blue, 2006
I Heard That Song Before, 2007
Where Are You Now?, 2008
Just Take My Heart, 2009
The Shadow of Your Smile, 2010
Daddy’s Gone A Hunting, 2013
The Melody Lingers On, 2015
Death Wears a Beauty Mask, 2016