Charlotte Armstrong

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Charlotte Armstrong Lewi (May 2, 1905, in Vulcan, Michigan – July 7, 1969, in Glendale, California) was an American author. Under the names Charlotte Armstrong and Jo Valentine she wrote 29 novels. She also worked for The New York Times' advertising department, as a fashion reporter for Breath of the Avenue (a buyer's guide), and in an accounting firm.[1]

Personal life[edit]

Armstrong Lewi graduated from Vulcan High School in Vulcan, Michigan, in June 1921. She attended the junior college program at Ferry Hall in Lake Forest, Illinois for one year (1921–22), during which time she served as Editor-in-Chief of the student publication, Ferry Tales. She attended the University of Wisconsin–Madison and received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Barnard College in 1925.[2] She had a daughter and two sons with her husband, Jack Lewi.


In 1957, she received an Edgar Award from the Mystery Writers of America for her novel A Dram of Poison. She wrote two other Edgar-nominated novels: The Gift Shop (1966) and Lemon in the Basket (1967). Three of her short stories, all published in Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, were nominated for Edgars: "And Already Lost" (1957), "The Case for Miss Peacock" (1965), and "The Splintered Monday" (1966).[3]


  • The Happiest Days, 1939 (play)
  • Ring Around Elizabeth, 1941 (play)
  • Lay On, Mac Duff! 1942
  • The Case of the Weird Sisters, 1943
  • The Innocent Flower, 1945 (also known as Death Filled the Glass)
  • The Unsuspected, 1945/6, Coward-McCann
  • The Chocolate Cobweb, 1948
  • Mischief, 1951
  • The Black-Eyed Stranger, 1952
  • Catch-as-Catch-Can, 1953 (also known as Walk Out on Death)
  • The Trouble in Thor, 1953 (as Jo Valentine; also known as And Sometimes Death)
  • The Better to Eat You, 1954 (also known as Murder's Nest)
  • The Dream Walker, 1955 (also known as Alibi for Murder)
  • A Dram of Poison, 1956
  • The Albatross, 1957 (short story collection)
  • Incident at a Corner, 1957
  • The Seventeen Widows of San Souci, 1959
  • The Girl with a Secret, 1959
  • Something Blue, 1959
  • Then Came Two Women, 1962
  • The One-Faced Girl, 1963
  • The Mark of the Hand, 1963
  • The Witch's House, 1963
  • Who's Been Sitting in My Chair?, 1963
  • A Little Less Than Kind, 1964
  • The Turret Room, 1965
  • Dream of Fair Woman, 1966
  • I See You, 1966 (short story collection)
  • The Gift Shop, 1966
  • Lemon in the Basket, 1967
  • The Balloon Man, 1968
  • Seven Seats to the Moon, 1969
  • The Protege, 1970
  • Night Call and Other Stories of Suspense, ed. Rick Cypert and Kirby McCauley, Crippen & Landru Publishers, 2014


  • "Incident at a Corner", episode of Startime, dir. Alfred Hitchcock, 1959
  • "The Summer Hero," episode of The Chevy Mystery Show, 1960
  • Three episodes of Alfred Hitchcock Presents: "Sybilla" (dir. Ida Lupino); "The Five-Forty-Eight" (adapted from the John Cheever short story); and "Across the Threshold", 1960
  • The Mark of the Hand was adapted for an episode of the Thriller television series.[4]


The following films were adapted from Armstrong's novels and stories.


  1. ^ Detective Fiction
  2. ^ Swartley, Ariel (April 30, 1999) "Guns and Roses: The Women of Noir". LAWeekly.
  3. ^ Mystery Writers of America Edgar Awards Database
  4. ^ Fantastic Fiction
  5. ^ "The Mark of the Hand" at IMDB

Further reading[edit]

Burke, Jan (Summer 2007). "The Last Word: The Mean Streets of the Suburbs, the Kindness of Strangers—A Tribute to Charlotte Armstrong". Clues: A Journal of Detection. 25.4. pp. 65–69. Archived from the original on June 29, 2013. 

Cypert, Rick (2008). The Virtue of Suspense: The Life and Works of Charlotte Armstrong. Selinsgrove: Susquehanna University Press. ISBN 978-1-57591-122-9. 

External links[edit]