Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong

Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong

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A couple makes the mistake of trusting their child to the wrong babysitter

Bunny’s parents should not have brought her to New York City, but her father has an important speech to make in the city, and her mother couldn’t bear to be away from the darling nine-year-old girl. When Mommy and Daddy leave for the speech, Bunny will stay in the hotel with a babysitter, sound asleep and perfectly safe. What could possibly go wrong?

The sitter is Nell, a plain young woman from Indiana whose dull expression conceals madness. She puts Bunny to bed and amuses herself in the other room, making prank calls and trying on the mother’s jewelry. So far all is well, but something is broken inside Nell’s mind. As long she is in charge, the child will not be safe.

“Surely one of the finest pure terror-suspense stories ever written.” - New York Times

“A fine, chilly combination of horror and suspense.” - New Yorker

“Sheer, crawling horror.” - Chicago Tribune

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via Wikipedia: 

Don't Bother to Knock is a 1952 American thriller film starring Richard Widmark and Marilyn Monroe, directed by Roy Ward Baker and written by Daniel Taradash. It is based on the book Mischief by Charlotte Armstrong published in 1951.

Monroe is featured as a disturbed babysitter watching a child at the same New York hotel where a pilot, played by Widmark, is staying. Her strange behavior makes him increasingly aware that she is the last person the parents should have entrusted with their daughter. 

See the full Wikipedia page here.