12 Best Mary Higgins Clark Books You Need to Read

The Queen of Suspense, Mary Higgins Clark, has over 50 novels to her name. Here are the best Mary Higgins Clark books to add to your list.

Few names are quite as synonymous with the mystery and suspense novel as Mary Higgin Clark. Her books, known for being clean but suspenseful, have huge followings even years after her death. In many ways, her formula for a suspense novel made the genre well-known in the literature.

Born in 1927 in the Bronx, New York, Mary Higgins Clark published her first suspense novel, Where Are the Children, in 1974. It was not her first book, as that credit goes to Aspire to the Heavens, which she published in 1968 after a short time writing short stories for The Saturday Evening Post. However, this first suspense novel solidified her role as one of the best suspense authors of all time.

Mary Higgins Clark novels are some of the top suspense works, and in 2001, On the Street Where You Live reached the number one spot on the New York Times hardcover bestseller list, the same year that her Before I Say Good-Bye reached the top spot on the paperback bestsellers list.

Interestingly, Mary Higgins Clark sold her first suspense book for just $3,000. Her second, A Stranger is Watching, collected more than $1.5 million, showing how quickly she gained popularity. Every single one of her suspense novels was a bestseller. Higgins Clark died at the age of 92 in Naples, Florida. Her 56 books hit the bestseller lists in the United States and Europe.

There are over 100 million copies of her books in the United States in print. While her writing has inspired many authors to publish suspense novels, few know how to create suspense quite as well as she does.

If you want to explore her work, you will want to start with these 12 best Mary Higgins Clark books. 

1. Where Are the Children?

Where Are the Children is the first suspense novel by the Queen of Suspense. She published it in 1975, and since then, it has been reprinted 75 times. This book was made into a movie in 1986.

This story tells of a grieving mother who goes into hiding and changes her identity when she is accused of the death of her two children. When she remarries and starts a new family, her past comes back to haunt her, and she must discover the truth behind what happened to her children to preserve her new life and sanity. One of the few novels she has that have a sequel, Where are the Children Now? is a new book coming in 2023 with the help of co-author Alafair Burke.

“Regret because you really can’t control your life. Most of the time you don’t act; you react.”

Where Are the Children?
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 304 Pages - 07/01/2005 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

2. Loves Music, Loves to Dance

Loves Music, Loves to Dance is a 1991 novel by Mary Higgins Clark. In this book, a serial killer has a unique calling card – leaving one dancing shoe on the foot of each victim who answers a personal ad. Vince d’Ambrosio, a New York police detective, is sent on the case. Add in a stalker, and you have a very engaging tale full of the intrigue for which her books are known.

“Funny, when you finally faced reality, it was amazing how clearly you could see things.” 

Loves Music, Loves to Dance
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 03/01/1992 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

3. No Place Like Home

When a tragic accident allows a 10-year-old girl to shoot and kill her mother, the young woman must learn how to hide her past. Yet she falls in love, and her loving new spouse buys her a home – which happens to be the home where the tragedy took place. Add to this the fact that someone in the neighborhood knows her new identity, as Celia is hiding the truth behind her past, and you have the recipe for a very suspenseful novel. No Place Like Home was published in 2005.s

“That was the best part of the dream – having Daddy’s arms around her and feeling so safe.”

No Place Like Home: A Novel
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 496 Pages - 03/25/2008 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

4. The Cinderella Murder

Written with the help of Alafair Burke, The Cinderella Murder was published in 2014. It is the second book in the Under Suspicion series, which focuses on Larie Moran, producer of a television series that highlights unsolved cold cases. Those cases are the subject of the suspense stories, as well.

The Cinderella Murder often tops the lists of the best Mary Higgins Clark books, and it followed the first book in the series, I’ve Got You Under My Skin. The Cinderella Murder investigates the death of a college student who was found without shoes miles from her car. Other books featuring Alafair and Higgins Clark working together include I’ve Got You Under My Skin, All Dressed in White, The Sleeping Beauty Killer, Every Breath You Take and You Don’t Own Me.

“It had always been like this, even when she was a child. And now, fifty-five years old, happily married for thirty-two years, with one child, beautiful and gifted nineteen-year-old Susan, Rosemary could not be anything but a constant worrier, a living Cassandra. Something is going to go wrong.” 

Sale
The Cinderella Murder: An Under Suspicion Novel
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 400 Pages - 08/25/2015 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

5. All Around the Town

A top-rated option on Goodreads, All Around the Town, tells the story of a college student accused of murdering her English professor, a crime she cannot remember. So she asks her sister, who happens to be a defense attorney, to help her fight the accusations. Her sister discovers that her sister has developed astounding psychological coping skills after she was kidnapped at the age of four and away from home for two years. After digging up the repressed memories, the connection between the current crime and the past crime is revealed in this 2002 novel.

“From the vanity in her bathroom she took her seldom-used cosmetic case. The image of her mother in her shell-pink dressing gown, so naturally pretty, so endearingly maternal, telling her to put on eyeshadow brought at last the scalding tears she had forced back for Laurie’s sake.” 

All Around the Town
  • Mary Higgins Clark (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 341 Pages - 02/01/1993 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

6. On the Street Where You Live

In 2001 Higgins Clark published On the Street Where You Live, a novel about two seemingly separate murders linked. It weaves the tale of a traumatic stalking crime, a historic Victorian mansion, and a killer still alive and looking for their next victim. In the classic way of the Queen of Suspense, this story’s different arcs become masterfully woven by the end of the book, which Higgins Clark published in 2001.

“If you want to be happy for a year, win the lottery. If you want to be happy for life, love what you do.” 

On the Street Where You Live
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 432 Pages - 04/01/2002 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

7. The Cradle Will Fall

When county prosecutor Katie DeMaio lands in the hospital after a car accident, she sees what she thinks is a woman’s body being loaded into a car’s trunk. Confused, she heads back to work after her release to investigate a suicide that may be a murder. Soon, her research leads her to a doctor, the same doctor Katie is seeing. The suspense comes to a head as she heads into surgery with the doctor. The Cradle Will Fall is one of her older books, with an original publication date of 1980.

“We weep for what we may never lose.”

The Cradle Will Fall: A Novel
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 336 Pages - 04/21/2020 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

8. Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea

In Santa Cruise, Mary Higgins Clark partners with her daughter, Carol Higgins Clark, to write a holiday tale. This book follows Alvirah Meehan, a lottery winner turned detective, as she heads out on a ship’s maiden voyage. No one knew at the time that two escaped criminals were on board the ship, which leads to quite the mystery.

This book is a humorous one to tackle as you get to know the best-selling author. Alvirah and her husband Willy also show up in Deck the Halls, I’ll Walk Alone, The Lottery Winner, Weep No More My Lady, All Through The Night, Dashing Through the Snow, I’ll Walk Alone, The Lost Years, As Time Goes By, All By Myself, Alone and The Christmas Thief.

“We should have a free cruise the day after Christmas to get the kinks out of the ship.” 

Sale
Santa Cruise: A Holiday Mystery at Sea
  • MARY HIGGINS CLARK
  • Hardcover Book
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 272 Pages - 11/14/2006 (Publication Date) - Scribner (Publisher)

9. Where Are You Now?

When a young man disappears from Columbia University just weeks before graduation, his sister searches for the truth. Many fear the worst fate for the missing student. Yet he can’t be dead, as he calls his mom every year to tell her he is doing fine. Finally, a dire warning comes that she should not look further into the disappearance. As she digs into what caused the mysterious disappearance, she begins to untangle a web of deceit and lies that could have deadly consequences. Higgins Clark published this novel in 2008.

“It is exactly midnight, which means Mother’s Day has just begun.” 

Where Are You Now?
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 368 Pages - 03/24/2009 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

10. A Cry in the Night

Jenny MacPartland meets a painter who appears to be the love of her life. Yet life isn’t quite as idyllic on his Minnesota farm as she thought it would be. She starts to feel like there is something very wrong with her new husband, yet she can’t fly back to New York when she discovers she is pregnant. She soon unlocks some secrets that could risk her marriage and her life. A Cry in the Night was published in 1982. This book became a TV movie in 1992, and Higgins Clark’s daughter, Carol, played the main character.

“It didn’t matter. Nothing mattered. If she froze to death in the search she would try to find the cabin” 

A Cry In The Night
  • Paperback novel, author: Mary Higgins Clark
  • A Cry in the Night
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 352 Pages - 12/01/1993 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

11. I’ll Be Seeing You

Meghan Collins is a TV news reporter sent to investigate a stabbing. What should be a reasonably straightforward case turns into a mystery as she discovers more to the story than initially seemed. Meghan’s father also ends up in an accident, with his car and his person disappearing. To add to the mystery, the intrepid reporter finds that another story she is researching is also tied in. Eventually, the master of suspense brings everything to a climax and ties them together. I’ll Be Seeing You hit the bookshelves in 1993.

Sale
I'll Be Seeing You
  • a very interesting book filled with mystery and suspense. Clark's main character, Meghan, is a successful young newscaster.
  • Hardcover Book
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 320 Pages - 05/05/1993 (Publication Date) - Simon & Schuster (Publisher)

12. Daddy’s Little Girl

Daddy’s Little Girl, the last book on this list, was published in 2002. It tells the story of Ellie Cavanaugh, whose sister was murdered at age fifteen when Ellie was just seven. At the time of the murder, the little girl names a suspect, who spends many years in jail even though he claims he is innocent. However, Ellie grows up to become an investigative reporter, and eventually, she discovers some facts that shed light on her sister’s case, leading her to confront a desperate killer. This book shows Higgins Clark’s ability to dig into the mind of a killer, which is what makes it one of her more famous works.

Daddy's Little Girl
  • Mary Higgins Clark, novel, Daddy's Little Girl, 352 pages.
  • Paperback book.
  • Clark, Mary Higgins (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 384 Pages - 04/01/2003 (Publication Date) - Pocket Books (Publisher)

Best Mary Higgins Clark Books FAQs

What is Mary Higgins Clark best selling book?

Each year at least 4 million of Mary Higgins Clark’s books get sold around the globe, so stating the best seller among them is difficult. On the Street Where You Live and Before I Say Goodbye was in the top spot on the New York Times Bestseller List.

What is the order of Mary Higgins Clark’s books?

The first five Mary Higgins Clark standalone books are:
1. Aspire to the Heavens
2. Where Are the Children?
3. A Stranger Is Watching
4. The Cradle Will Fall
5. A Cry in the Night

The final five are:
1. The Magical Christmas Horse
2. Daddy’s Gone A-Hunting
3. The Melody Lingers On
4. I’ve Got My Eyes on You
5. Kiss the Girls and Make Them Cry

What is the most popular book by Mary Higgins Clark?

Ranker.com lists Loves Music, Loves to Dance as the most famous Mary Higgins Clark book. Goodreads lists Where Are the Children? as the most popular. 

Looking for more? Check out our round-up of the best Michener books!

Join over 15,000 writers today

Get a FREE book of writing prompts and learn how to make more money from your writing.

Powered by ConvertKit