Helen McCloy

McCloy - photo.jpg

Pseudonym of Helen Clarkson

Born: 6 June 1904, New York

Died: 1 December 1994, Boston, Mass.


Overview

One of the best American detective writers: subtle, creepy, sophisticated, and highly intelligent.

The early books, featuring Dr. Basil Willing, psychiatric adviser to the New York District Attorney’s office, are ingenious puzzle plots in the line of John Dickson Carr, while the later books are psychological thrillers.

Throughout her career, McCloy avoided formula, and many of her books deal with unusual concepts, including the Doppelgänger, split personality, and demoniac possession.


Best books

  • Cue for Murder (1942)
  • The Goblin Market (1943)
  • She Walks Alone (1948)
  • Through a Glass, Darkly (1950)
  • The Slayer and the Slain (1957)

Recommended reading


Works

  1. Dance of Death (1938; Dr. Basil Willing; published in the UK as Design for Dying)
  2. The Man in the Moonlight (1940; Dr. Basil Willing)
  3. The Deadly Truth (1941; Dr. Basil Willing)
  4. Who’s Calling? (1942; Dr. Basil Willing)
  5. Cue for Murder (1942; Dr. Basil Willing)
  6. Do Not Disturb (1943)
  7. The Goblin Market (1943)
  8. Panic (1944)
  9. The One That Got Away (1945; Dr. Basil Willing)
  10. She Walks Alone (1948; also published as Wish You Were Dead)
  11. Through a Glass, Darkly (1950; Dr. Basil Willing)
  12. Alias Basil Willing (1951)
  13. Better Off Dead (1951)
  14. Unfinished Crime (1954; published in the UK as He Never Came Back)
  15. The Long Body (1955; Dr. Basil Willing)
  16. Two-Thirds of a Ghost (1956; Dr. Basil Willing)
  17. The Slayer and the Slain (1957)
  18. Before I Die (1963)
  19. The Singing Diamonds (1965; published in the UK as Surprise, Surprise!)
  20. The Further Side of Fear (1967)
  21. Mr. Splitfoot (1968; Dr. Basil Willing)
  22. A Question of Time (1971)
  23. A Change of Heart (1973)
  24. The Sleepwalker (1974)
  25. Minotaur Country (1975)
  26. The Changeling Conspiracy (1976; published in the UK as Cruel as the Grave)
  27. The Imposter (1977)
  28. The Smoking Mirror (1979)
  29. Burn This (1980; Dr. Basil Willing)
  30. The Pleasant Assassin and Other Cases of Dr. Basil Willing (2003; short stories)