Saturday, December 31, 2011

Happy 95th birthday, Helen Eustis.

Edward Albert in
The Fool Killer (1965)
Helen Eustis—author of the Edgar-winning The Horizontal Man (1946) and The Fool Killer (1954), friend of Carson McCullers, and ex-wife of Smith poet-professor Alfred Young Fisher—turns 95 today in New York City. Eustis is one of two living writers on the Haycraft-Queen Cornerstone list of essential mysteries (the other is Dorothy Salisbury Davis). The Best Mysteries of All Time series of Reader's Digest issued a new edition of The Horizontal Man this year. (post updated to reflect correct age from Eustis's son)


Joe McCusker said...

So sad that there are only two survivors from that list. Is The Horizontal Man the best first novel in the genre? (I'd say a qualified yes, ranking it in a dead tie w/ Levin's A Kiss Before Dying).

Elizabeth Foxwell said...

Yes, _The Horizontal Man_ won the Edgar for best first novel. There's a few first novels on the HQ list such as Sayers's _Whose Body?_. The Dorothy B. Hughes novel on the list, _The So-Blue Marble_, was Hughes's first novel, although I think many would say it is not her best work. And Hughes seemed to agree with you re Levin's _A Kiss before Dying_, as she selected it as one of the best mysteries of 1953.