Bestselling author Mary Higgins Clark has died aged 92, her publisher confirmed.
Known by her fans as the “Queen of Suspense”, Ms Clark sold more than 100 million books in the US alone.
In a career spanning decades, she wrote best sellers such as A Stranger is Watching and The Cradle will Fall, both of which were adapted into films.
Her publishing company Simon Schuster said she died peacefully “surrounded by family and friends.”
Ms Clark was born in 1927 in New York City.
She briefly worked as a Pan Am flight attendant, leaving the job after a year to marry Warren Clark and start a family. The couple had five children together.
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However, Mr Clark died suddenly when she was 35.
In order to support her family, Ms Clark began writing short stories and radio scripts. But her agent persuaded her to turn her attention on novels.
Her books have been translated into 35 languages. Her first book, titled Where are the Children?, was reprinted 75 times.
Many of her storylines were drawn from news stories. She attended murder trials and discussed medical terminology with doctors, according to the Washington Post.
In 2000, her publishing company awarded her a $64m (£48m) contract for her next five books, making her at the time, the highest-paid female author in the world.
“Nobody ever bonded more completely with her readers than Mary did,” her editor Michael Korda said in a statement.
“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.”