Through A Glass, Darkly
Arcturus Publishing Limited
Gisela von Hohenems joins the teaching staff of an exclusive girls' school in upstate New York, where she befriends fellow newcomer Faustina Coyle. But a climate of fear surrounds Faustina, and after several strange incidents which defy rational explanation, she is forced to resign. Gisela asks her fiance, detective-psychologist Dr Basil Willing, to investigate. A puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, Through a Glass, Darkly is one of McCloy's most widely admired novels. US mystery writer Helen McCloy (1904-94) was the first woman to serve as president of Mystery Writers of America. In addition to her Basil Willing series of 13 novels, she wrote a further 16 mysteries. She is widely regarded as one of the best detective writers to have come out of the United States. Elegantly written and plotted, her stories are enjoyable as well as satisfying.
Born in New York City, Helen McCloy was educated in Brooklyn, at the Quaker Friends' school, and later studied at the Sorbonne in Paris. From 1927-1932 she worked for Hearst's Universal News Service after which she freelanced as an art critic and contributor to various publications, including the London Morning Post. Shortly after her return to the US she published her first novel, Dance of Death, in 1933, featuring her popular series detective-psychologist Basil Willing. The novel Through a Glass Darkly, a puzzle in the supernatural tradition of John Dickson Carr, is the eighth in the Basil Willing series and is generally acknowledged to be her masterpiece. In 1946 McCloy married fellow author Davis Dresser, famed for his Mike Shayne novels. Together they founded Halliday & McCloy literary agency as well as the Torquil Publishing Company. In 1950 Helen McCloy became the first woman president of the Mystery Writers of America and in 1953 she was awarded an Edgar by the same organisation for her criticism.