Sunday, February 10, 2008

Phyllis A. Whitney - R.I.P.

Phyllis A. Whitney died Friday, Feb. 8 at the age of 104. She was the best-selling author of romantic mysteries, young adult novels, and children's mysteries. The New York Times published her obituary.

Phyllis A. Whitney was the first adult mystery writer I ever read, and remained my favorite of the Gothic mystery writers. I read Victoria Holt and Mary Stewart as well as others, but Whitney remained my favorite. My Aunt Phyllis gave me a bag of mysteries, and in the bag was Whitney's Hunter's Green. I still remember the topiary chess set in that book, which remains one of my favorites. When I mentioned that book, and the chess set, today at the library, other women nodded.

She was still writing at 94. I hope she knew how much pleasure she gave so many readers. Rest in peace, Phyllis A. Whitney. Thank you.


Anonymous said...

I loved Phyllis Whitney. I remember the first book I read of hers was one of her juvenile mysteries, THE SECRET OF THE HAUNTED POOL. It belonged to my older cousin and I was just mesmerized.

I do remember the topiary chess set in HUNTER'S GREEN. It is also one of my favorites and I still have a copy of that one on my shelf. I also loved her first adult mystery, which was called THE RED CARNELIAN. It took place in a Chicago department store and had window dressing involved. Very creepy as the killer stalked the heroine.

What an amazing writer Phyllis Whitney was and how much joy she brought to so many readers. She will be missed.

Lesa said...

Kay - I wonder if Gothics would have fallen from favor if Phyllis Whitney had still been writing? Her books were riveting, no matter what age she wrote for.