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Mary Roberts Rinehart was born in the City of Allegheny, Pennsylvania on August 12, 1876. While attending Allegheny High School, she received $1 each for three short stories from a Pittsburgh newspaper. After receiving inspiration from a town doctor who happened to be a woman, she developed a curiosity for medicine. She went on to study nursing at the Pittsburgh Training School for Nurses at Homeopathic Hospital. After graduating in 1896, she began her writing career. The first of her many mystery stories, The Circular Staircase (1908), established her as a leading writer of the genre; Rinehart and Avery Hopwood successfully dramatized the novel as The Bat (1920). Her other mystery novels include The Man in Lower Ten (1909), The Case of Jennie Brice (1914), The Red Lamp (1925), The Door (1930), The Yellow Room (1945), and The Swimming Pool (1952). Stories about Tish, a self-reliant spinster, first appeared in the Saturday Evening Post and were collected into The Best of Tish (1955). She wrote more than 50 books, eight plays, hundreds of short stories, poems, travelogues and special articles. Three of her plays were running on Broadway at one time. During World War I, she was the first woman war correspondent at the Belgian front. She died September 22, 1958 at the age of 82.