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Nebraska Author Patricia McGerr

NebraskaAuthormcgerrA List of Works by Nebraska Author
Patricia McGerr

A fourth-generation Nebraska daughter, Patricia McGerr made her literary reputation as the writer of seventeen novels (most of them mysteries, but a few telling stories of women of the early Catholic Church), and more than fifty short stories. She won an Ellery Queen Mystery Magazine/MWA prize for her 1968 story “Match Point in Berlin,” the Grand Prix de Litterature Policiere in 1952 for her 1951 novel Follow, As the Night, and her first novel, Pick Your Victim (1946), was selected as one of the Fifty Classics of Crime Fiction, 1900-1950.

Although she was born in Falls City, Nebraska, her family settled in Lincoln, where McGerr graduated from UN-L with a Bachelor of Arts. Her mother was one of the seven Dore sisters, well known in Lincoln, and this is alluded to jokingly in the title to one of her first books, The Seven Deadly Sisters (1947). After graduation, Patricia and her three sisters moved to Washington, D.C. and eventually New York City.

Earning a masters in journalism at Columbia University in 1937, she worked in public relations and as an assistant editor of an industry magazine in New York City. In her thirteenth novel, she had finally reclaimed her full first name — Patricia. “My publisher thought that the name ‘Pat’ sounded masculine and many male readers of mysteries would be put off by a woman author of such fiction unless she were a Mignon Eberhart or an Agatha Christie.” A television series, based on McGerr’s recurring character, Selena Mead, starring Polly Bergen, was planned for CBS Television in 1965-66 but never got to the air. Patricia McGerr died May 11, 1985 in Bethesda, Maryland, at the age of 67.

(Biographical notes are taken, in part, from The Nebraska Centennial Literary Map (810.978 Kau), edited by Berniece Kauffman, and Guide to Nebraska Authors (810.978 Cox), entry written by Betty Levitov.)

Additional information about Patricia McGerr can be found at the following Web sites:

Brief profile of McGerr on Wikipedia
Internet Movie Database page for Patricia McGerr

Patricia McGerr’s published novels

1946 – Pick Your Victim
1947 – The Seven Deadly Sisters
1948 – Catch Me If You Can
1949 – Save the Witness
1950 – Follow, As the Night  (UK title: Your Loving Victim)
1951 – Death in a Million Living Rooms  (UK title: Die Laughing)
1953 – The Missing Years
1954 – Fatal in My Fashion
1960 – Martha, Martha: A Biblical Novel
1964 – My Brothers, Remember Monica: A Novel of the Mother of Augustine
1964 – Is There a Traitor in the House?   (SM)
1967 – Murder is Absurd
1968 – Stranger With My Face
1969 – For Richer, For Poorer, Till Death
1970 – Legacy of Danger  (15 short stories combined as a novel)   (SM)
1974 – Daughter of Darkness
1975 – Dangerous Landing

Patricia McGerr’s published short stories

This list is not complete, and will be added to as details about more of McGerr’s stories become available — if you know of any stories not listed here, we encourage you to contact us at the e-mail address at the bottom of this page! The vast majority of Patricia McGerr’s (a.k.a. Pat McGerr’s) short stories appeared in Ellery Queen’s Mystery Magazine — abbreviated EQMM in the list below. McGerr had one recurring sleuth — Selena Mead — noted with [SM] in the list below.

1962 – “Johnny Lingo’s Eight Cow Wife”
EQMM Oct 1962 – “Murder to the Twist”
1963 – “Legacy of Danger”  (SM) (reprinted in Alfred Hitchcock’s Sinister Spies)
EQMM Feb 1963 – “Justice Has a High Price”  (reprinted in Mirror, Mirror, Fatal Mirror, Mystery Mix and Masterpieces of Mystery: The Sixties)
EQMM Sep 1963 – “The Washington, D.C. Murders”  (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Headliners and Treasury of American Mystery Stories)
This Week Apr 1964 – “View by Moonlight”  (SM) (reprinted in Stories to Be Read With the Door Locked)
This Week 1964 – “Campaign Fever”  (SM) (reprinted in Stories to Stay Awake By and More Stories to Stay Awake By)
1964 – “Selena in Atlantic City”  (SM) (reprinted in Spies and More Spies)
This Week May 1964 – “Selena Robs the White House”  (SM) (reprinted in Murder Most Foul)
1965 – “Ladies With a past”  (SM) (reprinted in Spies and More Spies)
EQMM Jun 1968 – “Match Point in Berlin”  (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Murder Menu, Women of Mystery II and Masterpieces of Mystery: More From the Sixties)
EQMM Nov 1971 – “Somebody’s Telling the Truth” (a.k.a. “This One’s a Beauty”)  (reprinted in Top Crime and Mystery Bag)
EQMM Mar 1972 – “The Last Check”
EQMM Dec 1972 – “Winner Takes All”  (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Crookbook)
EQMM May 1973 – “Nothing But the Truth”  (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Masks of Mystery and Ellery Queen: The Best of Suspense)
EQMM Jan 1974 – “A Choice of Murders”  (reprinted in Napoleons of Mystery and Masters of Mystery)
EQMM Apr 1976 – “Hide-and-Seek — Russian Style”  (SM) (reprinted in Murder Intercontinental and Ellery Queen’s Veils of Mystery)
EQMM Apr 1978 – “In the Clear”  (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Crimes and Punishments)
EQMM Aug 1978 – “The Writing on the Wall”  (SM) (reprinted in Ellery Queen’s Circumstantial Evidence)
EQMM Oct 1979 – “Chain of Terror”  (reprinted in The Best of Ellery Queen and Ellery Queen’s Maze of Mysteries)
EQMM Sep 1981 – “Every Little Bit Helps”
EQMM Oct 1982 – “A Date in Helsinki”  (reprinted in Lady on the Case and The Year’s Best Mystery and Suspense Stories (1983))
EQMM Jan 1984 – “Caribbean Clues”  (reprinted in Women of Mystery III)
EQMM Jun 1984 – “Fatal Corner”

Posted to BookGuide in November 2008 sdc | last update May 2023 sdc