Dorothy B. Hughes

Dorothy B. Hughes (1904–1993) was born Dorothy Belle Flanagan in Kansas City, Missouri. She received a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Missouri and worked as a reporter before attending graduate school at the University of New Mexico and Columbia University. In 1931 her collection of poetry, Dark Certainty, was selected for inclusion in the Yale Series of Younger Poets. She was married in 1932 and would not publish her next book, the hard-boiled novel The So Blue Marble, until 1940. Between 1940 and 1952 Hughes published twelve more novels, including The Cross-Eyed Bear and Ride the Pink Horse. For four decades she was the crime-fiction reviewer for The Albuquerque Tribune, earning an Edgar Award for Outstanding Mystery Criticism from the Mystery Writers of America in 1951. The Expendable Man, published in 1963, was her last novel. “I simply hadn’t the tranquility required to write” and care for a family, she later said. In 1978, however, she published The Case of the Real Perry Mason, a critical biography of Erle Stanley Gardner, and that same year she was recognized as a Grand Master by the Mystery Writers of America.

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