A message from Carolyn K. Reidy, President & CEO of Simon & Schuster
It is with great sadness that I write to inform you that Mary Higgins Clark died January 31, 2020 in Naples, Florida, at the age of 92. The cause was complications of old age.
It is impossible to overestimate the importance of Mary’s contribution to our success, and her role in the modern history of Simon & Schuster. Beginning in 1975 with the publication of WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN, each of her 56 books has been a bestseller. There are more than 100 million copies of her books in print in the United States; they are international bestsellers and have been translated into every major and many less well-known languages.
But these storied publishing accomplishments tell only a small part of the larger story that is Mary Higgins Clark. 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.
Those of us who are fortunate to have worked with Mary—and at Simon & Schuster, that is multitudes—know her as a person of tremendous loyalty and dedication: In this day and age it is exceedingly rare for an author, especially one as prized as Mary, to remain with a single publisher for an entire forty-five-year career.
She was similarly devoted to her readers, until very recently going out of her way to meet them while on tour for every one of her books, and drawing tremendous energy and satisfaction from her interactions with them, even though she long ago could have pulled back from that part of being an author. She was, too, a generous member of the literary community, especially toward new authors, and was well known beyond the publishing world for her support of innumerable philanthropic and civic causes.
Of course, no one here has been associated with Mary longer than Michael Korda, Editor-in-Chief Emeritus of Simon & Schuster, who says:
“Mary and I have been dear friends, and worked together since 1975, during which time we never had a cross word between us, which surely sets something of a record for author-editor relationships.
“She was unique. Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did; 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. She was the Queen of Suspense, it wasn’t just a phrase; she always set out to end each chapter on a note of suspense, so you just had to keep reading. It was at once a gift, but also the result of hard work, because nobody worked harder than Mary did on her books to deliver for her readers. She was also, unfailingly, cheerful under pressure, generous, good humored and warm-hearted, the least ‘temperamental’ of bestselling authors, and the most fun to be around. I feel privileged to have enjoyed forty-five years of her friendship, and saddened that I will no longer be able to pick up the phone and hear her say, ‘Michael, I think I’ve figured out how to make this story work.’ She was a joy to work with, and to know.”
Yes, she was deservedly known as the Queen of Suspense, but in our building we have long and fondly thought of her as the First Lady of Simon & Schuster. Today we did not just lose an author, but a true and well-loved member of the Simon & Schuster family. I will miss her tremendously, both on a personal and professional level, but we all can be grateful and proud for having had the privilege of being her publisher these many years, and thankful for all she has meant to her millions of readers and for her kindness and service to many generations of authors.
Please join me in offering heartfelt condolences to Mary’s children and extended family.
MARY HIGGINS CLARK
The #1 New York Times bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has written thirty-eight suspense novels, four collections of short stories, a historical novel, a memoir, and two children’s books. With bestselling author Alafair Burke she writes the Under Suspicion series including The Cinderella Murder, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take, and You Don’t Own Me. With her daughter Carol Higgins Clark, she has coauthored five more suspense novels. More than one hundred million copies of her books are in print in the United States alone. Her books are international bestsellers.
Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry
by Mary Higgins Clark
An electrifying new thriller from “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark!
When investigative journalist Gina Kane receives an email from a “CRyan” describing her “terrible experience” while working at REL, a high-profile television news network, including the comment “and I’m not the only one,” Gina knows she has to pursue the story. But when Ryan goes silent, Gina is shocked to discover the young woman has died tragically in a Jet Ski accident while on holiday.
Meanwhile, REL counsel Michael Carter finds himself in a tricky spot. Several female employees have come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct. Carter approaches the CEO, offering to persuade the victims to accept settlements in exchange for their silence. It’s a risky endeavor, but it could well make him rich.
As more allegations emerge and the company’s IPO draws near, Carter’s attempts to keep the story from making headlines are matched only by Gina Kane’s determination to uncover the truth. Was Ryan’s death truly an accident? And when another accuser turns up dead, Gina realizes someone—or some people—will go to depraved lengths to keep the story from seeing the light.
You Don’t Own Me
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
“Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke are back with their fifth enthralling mystery in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series; You Don’t Own Me finds television producer Laurie Moran stopping at nothing to solve the murder of a celebrity doctor—even as she finds herself in grave danger as a mysterious stalker plots his next move.
When we last saw Laurie Moran, she had recently become engaged to her show’s former host, Alex Buckley. Since then, the two have been happily planning a summer wedding and honeymoon, preparing for Alex’s confirmation to a federal judicial appointment, and searching for the perfect New York City home for their new life together…
I’ve Got My Eyes on You
by Mary Higgins Clark
A new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author and “Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark.
When a terrible crime shocks a New Jersey community, all signs point to one suspect. But if he’s innocent as he claims, it means the murderer is still out there…
Every Breath You Take
by Mary Higgins Clark & Alafair Burke
“Queen of Suspense” Mary Higgins Clark and Alafair Burke are back with their fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion series; Every Breath You Take follows television producer’s Laurie Moran investigation of the unsolved Met Gala murder—in which a wealthy widow was pushed to her death from the famous museum’s rooftop.
WATCH MARY HIGGINS CLARK ON CBS SUNDAY MORNING
Mary Higgins Clark on suspense
Mary Higgins Clark was no overnight success; the writer was 43 when she had her first hit, the 1975 novel “Where Are the Children?” Since then the New York Times bestselling author has written more than 50 books, from mysteries and historical novels to short stories, children books and a memoir. The “Queen of Suspense” talks with Erin Moriarty about her career, and how she never takes her readers for granted.