Mystery Monday: Author Helen Eustis
She only published one mystery, The Horizontal Man, that won the Edgar Award for Best First Novel in 1947. Based loosely on her experiences at Smith College, about which the author said in an interview, there were plenty of people at college she wanted to murder. Her undergraduate degree was in art, and she attended Columbia University for a time to study literature, but did not finish, instead pursuing a writing career.
The Horizontal Man includes psychologically unstable students and professors, and her 1954 release about a boy's adventure traveling the Midwest with an amnesiac Civil War veteran, also included psychological drama. In 1965, the book was made into a movie starring Anthony Perkins and Edward Albert. Perkins's role is said to have been quite like his Psycho character Norman Bates.
The Fool Killer
Eustis won the O. Henry prize for her short story, An American Home, and her other stories appeared in Harper's Monthly, The Saturday Evening Post, Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, and other notable publications.
Check your local library for her classic stories.
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