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NEW YORK (AP) _ The mystery has been solved: Stephen King is not the author of ``The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer,'' a best seller based on the fictional character from King's ``Rose Red'' TV miniseries.

``Now it can be told _ the actual author of `The Diary of Ellen Rimbauer' is suspense novelist Ridley Pearson,'' said King, whom many assumed had written the book. He made the announcement in a message posted this week on his Web site.

``Ridley did a great job _ I couldn't have done better myself.''

Rimbauer is a tormented industrialist's wife who lived in Seattle at the turn of the 20th century. Her diaries were ``edited'' by another fictional character, Dr. Joyce Reardon, a specialist in paranormal studies.

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On the Net:

Official Stephen King Web site: http://www.stephenking.com/