Just a year after being fêted (along with James Ellroy) as one of the newest Mystery Writers of America’s Grand Masters, New Mexico author Lois Duncan has passed away at age 82. In a Facebook post from earlier today, her husband of half a century, Don Arquette, said, “She died sometime early this morning. I awoke and found her collapsed in the kitchen. I will miss her so very, very much.”
The Philadelphia-born Duncan penned works of non-fiction for adults, including 1992’s Who Killed My Daughter?, about the 1989 shooting death of her youngest child, 18-year-old Kaitlyn. However, she’s best known for having produced a succession of young adult mystery and suspense novels, including Debutante Hill (1958), A Gift of Magic (1960), Down a Dark Hall (1974), Stranger with My Face (1981), and The Third Eye (1984). More biographical details can be found in this piece from Mystery Fanfare. Duncan’s Web site doesn’t yet acknowledge the author’s demise, but it offers a message board where you can register your condolences to her family.
READ MORE: “Remembering Lois Duncan, the Queen of Teen Suspense,” by Petra Mayer (National Public Radio); “Lois Duncan’s Teenage Screams,” by Sarah Weinman (The New Republic).