The Queen of Suspense has written nearly 50 books during her career of more than 40 years. How on earth are you supposed to pick just one to start? Even I couldn’t decide; I made a list to help. In celebration of her 90th birthday, here are of 10 of my favorite Mary Higgins Clark novels! From investigative reporters to cold case murders to wrongful convictions and passion gone awry, there’s something for everyone in this master storyteller’s repertoire of cozy—yet psychologically chilling—suspense novels.
You simply cannot miss this novel, which launched Mary Higgins Clark's career as America’s Queen of Suspense in 1975. Nancy Harmon fled the heartbreak of her first marriage when she was accused of murdering her two children. She changed her name, dyed her hair, and fled to Cape Cod to begin a new life. Her heart is finally beginning to mend with the help of her new husband and beloved son and daughter. But the shadowy presence of her past refuses to let go, and one morning Nancy discovers the nightmare beginning again.
“My grandmother read every one of Clark’s novels, but I could see why she kept WHERE ARE THE CHILDREN? It is classic spine-tingling suspense; even David Foster Wallace kept a copy in his personal library and taught it in fiction classes at Illinois State University.”
When Jenny MacPartland meets rich, handsome painter Erich at the gallery where she works to support her two young children, she thinks she’s met the man of her dreams. After a whirlwind courtship, he whisks Jenny and the girls off to his mansion in the country. But the dream soon turns to nightmare when Jenny realizes there’s something menacing about her new husband, and her fear only grows when she discovers she’s pregnant and utterly dependent on the man who’s slowly turning their marriage into a prison.
The first collaboration between the Queen of Suspense and bestselling thriller novelist Alafair Burke features Laurie Moran, a television producer working on her docu-drama, Under Suspicion, a cold case series that revisits unsolved crimes by recreating them with those affected. As a single mother also touched by tragedy, Laurie finds her heart goes out to victims’ families, and she is especially moved by the mother of the LA woman whose death was nicknamed the “Cinderella Murder” by the press, after her body was discovered missing a shoe. With Hollywood players, a cult-like church, and Silicon Valley millionaires as suspects, only one thing is certain: Cinderella’s killer will do anything to keep the truth hidden.
Mary Higgins Clark, the “Queen of Suspense,” collaborates for the first time with Alafair Burke in this gripping mystery about a producer for a popular reality crime TV show. Looking for higher ratings, she decides to shoot an episode on a mysterious unsolved case, but what she discovers is much more dangerous than she could have imagined.
The fourth book in the New York Times bestselling Under Suspicion collaboration—still following Laurie Moran’s cold case TV series—will keep you guessing until the very last page. This time it’s a wealthy widow who fell to her death from the rooftop of the Metropolitan Museum on the night of the Met Gala. Laurie and her team explore whether this was a tragic accident or an intentional murder related to a much-younger boyfriend, scheming children lusting after inheritance, or other high-society foul play. They have no idea their search for answers might be putting them in danger too . . .
Surprisingly, as the only girl growing up among brothers, Mary Higgins Clark often writes about the heartwarming—even life-saving— bond between sisters. In this bestselling novel, 21-year-old Laurie Kenyon is accused of murdering her English professor after her fingerprints are found all over the crime scene. Her attorney sister, Sarah, is certain of her innocence, despite the fact that Laurie cannot remember the night in question. The truth may be buried deep in Laurie’s subconscious, sharing space with her unbearable memories of being kidnapped as a young child. With the help of a psychiatrist, Sarah hopes she can bring Laurie’s memories to light, but at what cost?
Did you know Mary Higgins Clark’s daughter is a bestselling author, too? She writes the beloved Regan Reilly series. In this holiday suspense novel, the mother-daughter duo combine forces, and characters. On the night before a small New Hampshire town’s local festival, a group of grocery store clerks learn they’ve won the lottery using their friend’s suggested numbers. But now that friend has gone missing. . . . Luckily, amateur sleuth Alvirah Meehan and private investigator Regan Reilly are visiting the festival. But there’s more to this idyllic New England village than meets the eye . . .
This high-octane thriller opens as Nina Peterson’s alleged murderer is found guilty and sentenced to be executed in two days. In the years since his wife’s death, Steve has tried to pull what remained of his life together for their son, in time even falling in love with a talented journalist. But now, when these two most important people in that life are kidnapped, the truth about his wife’s psychopathic killer propels Steve into a desperate race against time to save their lives. Classic suspense paired with a modern moral discussion and heart-pounding conclusion. A+.
Molly Lasch had motive and means to murder her husband, a famous-but-philandering doctor and founder of a successful health management firm. At least, that’s how it looked to a jury, who found her guilty of manslaughter after hearing their housekeeper discovered the doctor’s body with Molly nearby covered in his blood. Six years later she’s released from prison still maintaining her innocence to the press, including to an old friend and investigative reporter who decides to look into the case. Little does the friend realize her search for answers about the good doctor and his company may be putting her own life in danger.
New York City is the perfect destination for anyone looking to launch their careers, find love, and meet people with whom you’d never otherwise cross paths. At least that’s what college roommates Erin and Darcy think when they move to Manhattan after graduation. They even agree to help their television producer friend do research for a show on modern dating by answering personal ads. It’s all innocent fun, until Erin disappears. When her body is discovered wearing a single dancing shoe, it’s clear someone has come to the city looking for something much more sinister . . . and Darcy might be next . . .
When the charismatic head of a medical company and developer of a supposed miracle vaccine
disappears without a trace, reporter Marcia “Carley” DeCarlo is assigned the case. She’s already close to the story—her stepsister is married to the missing genius. She’s hardly a fan though, especially after it’s revealed that he may have absconded with huge sums belonging to investors and his employees. Yet, when she looks deeper into the company, not all is as it seems. The more pressing question, however, is whether she’ll get to the truth before corporate conspirators get involved.