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Mary Roberts Rinehart
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    (August 12, 1876-September 22, 1958)
    Born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania
    Birth name was Mary Ella Roberts
    Wrote novels, short stories and plays
    Best known for her mysteries
    Titles included ‘The Circular Staircase’ (1908), ‘The Mystery of 1122’ (1909), ‘The Case of Jennie Brice’ (1913), ‘K.” (1915), ‘The Mystery Lamp’ (1925), ‘The Door’ (1930), ‘The Double Alibi’ (1932), ‘The Haunted Lady’ (1942) and ‘The Episode of the Wandering Knife’ (1950)
    Often called ‘the American Agatha Christie
    She popularized the mystery cliché ‘The butler did it’ with her novel ‘The Door,’ where the butler indeed does it.
    Her heroes and heroines have a habit of wandering off alone into dark rooms.
    Under pressure from her husband, she turned to ‘serious literary work,’ and suffered a serious bout of depression.
    She was born left-handed, but was forced to write with her right.
    She served as a war correspondent for the Saturday Evening Post, covering the Belgian front during World War I.
    She suffered breast cancer, underwent a radical mastectomy and went public with her story at a time when cancer was rarely discussed openly (1947).
    She created a costumed supervillain, ‘The Bat,’ who Bob Kane cited as an inspiration for ‘Batman.’

Credit: C. Fishel

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