McCue, Lillian de la Torre Bueno (c. 1902–1993)

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McCue, Lillian de la Torre Bueno (c. 1902–1993)

American writer of historical mysteries . Name variations: (pseudonym) Lillian de la Torre. Born Lillian de la Torre Bueno in New York City around 1902; died in Colorado Springs, Colorado, on September 13, 1993; graduated from New Rochelle College; earned master's degrees from Columbia and Harvard-Radcliffe; taught high school English; married George McCue (an English professor at Colorado College), in 1932 (died 1984).

As a child, Lillian de la Torre Bueno McCue became fascinated with detective stories shelved in her father's library and later could hardly recall a time when she was not "addicted." She did not, however, begin writing until her middle years, when she began to speculate about how Samuel Johnson might have approached mysteries of his era. Describing herself as a histo-detector, McCue used scholarly research to delve into old crimes and scandals, especially those in 18th-century Britain, and arrive at her own modern solutions. In related work, she also took real people and events and wove them into fictionalized plots. Her first book Elizabeth Is Missing or Truth Triumphant dismissed 12 theories on the famous 1753 disappearance of Elizabeth Canning , a maidservant near the Tower of London, and offered the author's own. McCue had combined, said The New York Time s' reviewer, "the scholarly patience of a candidate for a Ph.D." with the "ingenuity of a Nero Wolfe." She followed with a similar book, Villainy Detected (1947). But her most popular fiction comprised a series of short stories about Samuel Johnson and James Boswell under the title Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector. A founding member of the Colorado Springs Chorale and a former president of the Mystery Writers of America, McCue wrote for nearly 50 years and was working on a manuscript at the time of her death.

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McCue, Lillian de la Torre Bueno (c. 1902–1993)

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