Gladys Mitchell was born in the village of Cowley, Oxford, in April 1901. She was educated at Goldsmiths and University Colleges in London. For many years, Miss Mitchell taught history and English, swimming, and games. She was a member of the Detection Club, the PEN, the Middlesex Education Society, and the British Olympic Association. Her father's family are Scots, and a Scottish influence has appeared in some of her books. Her first novel appeared in 1929. She was awarded the CWA Silver Dagger in 1976.