Between 1929 and 1988, American mystery writer Mignon Good Eberhart wrote fifty-nine mystery novels, at least as many short stories, and served a term as president and Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America. This study of Eberhart's life and work considers the influence of her childhood in Nebraska, her marriage and frequent travels, and her various professional and personal contacts in Chicago and on the East Coast. Eberhart's friendships with well-known literary figures, including mystery and romance authors, provide a fascinating glimpse into the social matrix of a bygone publishing world. Eberhart's experiences with Hollywood and Broadway show how the mystery genre, and writer, were transformed in an alternate medium. Leading women's magazines of the day also sought Eberhart's talent and inevitably transformed her writing. Eberhart's novels and correspondence provide insight into the social mores of her day, in particular about women's friendships, repressed sexuality, and closeted homosexuality. Those interested in cultural studies, women's studies, and twentieth-century popular literature will find this book valuable.
Rick Cypert is a Professor of English at Nebraska Wesleyan University.