Mignon Good Eberhart (July 6, 1899, Lincoln, Nebraska - October 8, 1996, Greenwich, Connecticut) was an American author of mystery novels. She had one of the longest careers among major American mystery writers.
Mignonette Good was born July 6, 1899, in Lincoln, Nebraska. As a teenager, Good often wrote short stories and novels to occupy herself. From 1917 to 1920 she attended Nebraska Weslyan University, but did not complete the coursework for a degree. In 1923 she married Allan Eberhart, and began writing short stories to combat boredom. Within several years she had begun writing novels, and in 1929 she published her first novel, The Patient in Room 18. Her third novel, The Mystery of Hunting's End received the $5000 Scotland Yard Prize in 1931. Four years later her alma-mater presented her with an honorary doctorate degree.
By the end of the 1930s, Eberhart had become the leading female crime novelist in the United States and was one of the highest paid female crime novelists in the world, next to Agatha Christie. Known as "America's Agatha Christie," she wrote a total of 59 novels, the last published in 1988, shortly before her 89th birthday. Eight of her novels were adapted as movies, beginning in 1935 with While the Patient Slept. The last adaptation, based on the book Hasty Wedding, was the movie Three's a Crowd released in 1945. The normally prolific Eberhart delivered fewer books in the 1940s, possibly due to upheaval in her personal life. After twenty years of marriage, Eberhart divorced her husband and remarried in 1946 to John Hazen Perry. Within two years she had divorced her second husband and remarried Allan Eberhart.
Eberhart was one of the founders of the modern romantic suspense novel. In an unusual twist for the time, her mysteries featured female heroines. The year after her first novel was published, Agatha Christie followed her lead and introduced another female detective, Jane Marple.
Her works often featured female heroines, and tended to include exotic locations, wealthy characters, and suspense and romance. Her characterization is good, and her characters always have "genuine and believable motives for everything they do." Her "writing is spare but almost lyrical."
In 1971 she was awarded the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master Award. Eberhart also served as president of the Mystery Writers of America. In 1994 she received the Agatha Award: Malice Domestic Award for Lifetime Achievement.
In 2007, a posthumous collection of her short stories, Dead Yesterday and Other Stories, was edited by Rick Cypert and Kirby McCauley, and published by Crippen & Landru.