Stanley Ellin was born in Brooklyn, New York, and educated at Brooklyn College. He worked as a teacher, a steelworker and a dairy farmer and served in the US Army in World War Two before becoming a full-time writer in 1946. His first published short story, The Speciality of the House, won him a special Ellery Queen Award. He won two Edgar Awards for short stories, as well as one for The Eighth Circle, and the Grand Prix de la Litt rature Polici re for Mirror, Mirror on the Wall. In 1980 he was made a Grand Master of the Mystery Writers of America.