Tablet Life & Arts

New & notable: A Mary Higgins Clark mystery

It has been nearly 40 years since Mary Higgins Clark’s first bestseller, 1975’s Where Are the Children? And her latest — I’ve Got You Under My Skin — is the 33rd novel written by the “Queen of Suspense.”

At age 86, one of the oldest living bestselling authors took an intriguing path to her success as a writer. She was a Pan Am stewardess (when flight attendants were still called that) and a catalog model (she worked with an unknown Grace Kelly), wrote short stories and radio scripts, and got numerous rejections from magazines and book publishers before her breakthrough in 1975. She was a widow with five children at the time.

In June, she’ll be inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. Not bad for a former struggling artist.

Clark has written yet another page turner with I’ve Got You Under My Skin. A 3-year-old boy is the lone witness to the murder of his father, a Manhattan ER doctor who is killed on a city playground. The boy is haunted by the killer’s blue eyes and his warning: “Tell your mother she’s next, then it’s your turn.”

Five years later, the boy’s mother becomes the producer of a reality TV show that focuses on true-crime cold cases. She plans to open the series with the re-enactment of a sensational 20-year-old unsolved murder of a socialite. And, of course, evil ol’ blue eyes is still at large.

— Celeste Williams