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Mary Higgins Clark, Best-Selling Suspense Novelist, Dies at 92

She published more than 50 novels over her decades-long career

Mary Higgins Clark, the best-selling author of 40-plus suspense novels, died Friday in Naples, Florida at age 92, publisher Simon & Schuster announced.

Starting with “Where Are the Children” in 1975, Higgins Clark’s novels followed a similar formula — a woman in peril from a dangerous man who figures her own way out of her dilemma — that appealed to legions of fans and inspired a raft of imitators. According to her publisher, more than 100 million copies of her books are in print in the U.S. alone.

Two of her novels were made into feature films — 1982’s “A Stranger Is Watching” with Kate Mulgrew and 1986’s “Where Are the Children” with Jill Clayburgh — while more than a dozen more were adapted for television.

In a 1997 interview with the New York Times, the Bronx-born author said she was inspired to write stories that would prompt readers to think: “This could be me. That could be my daughter. This could happen to us.”

In recent years, she also collaborated with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, as well as the mystery writer Alafair Burke on two separate book series.

Higgins Clark, who had been writing since she was a teenager and submitting short stories for publication, took to writing in part to support her family of five children — particularly after the 1964 death of her husband, shipping executive Warren Clark, when she was just 37.

According to her 2002 memoir, “Kitchen Privileges,” she woke at dawn to write her children were still in bed and then carpooled into Manhattan for her job at an advertising agency.

For the record: Due to a mislabeled photo from Getty Images, a previous version of this story included an incorrect photo of Higgins Clark.