Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends' school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst's Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including the London Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1933, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. The couple had one daughter, Chloe, and their marriage ended in 1961. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar by the same organisation for her criticism. In 1987, critic and mystery writer H. R. F. Keating included her Basil Willing title Mr Splitfoot in a list of the 100 best crime and mystery books ever published.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Beautiful Cover, Repulsive Ending (and That's a Good Thing)Dec 19 2013
- Published on Amazon.com
I highly recommend this paperback! I am no literary expert, but I appreciate books that have simple dialogue with complex stories and characters alive with rainbows of true emotions. Many outcomes can be conjured up when you have some children, adults, distant relatives, and old residences in Boston. The scenery was so rich and vivid I can envision them all as I was delving farther into the story. There were some laugh-out loud moments for me in some character exchanges, and some startling events that made me continue chapters even though I was going to retire for the night (since I only read this at bedtime).
What I found interesting was the tagline on the front and the description on the back of the book: once you finish the story, you realize that only some of it applies. I don't know if that was to make the book more appealing to buyers, but when you really think about it the wording could've been chosen differently!
I believe this falls under the "Gothic" novel category, and we all know the general reputation of plots that genre has... whether you are masculine or feminine, I urge you to add this to your repertoire.