Martha Grimes was born on May 2, 1931 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She received a B.A. and an M.A. from the University of Maryland. The idea for Martha Grimes' first British detective novel, The Man with a Load of Mischief (1981), was inspired by the name of a British pub she noticed while leafing through a travel book. A longtime Anglophile, she has continued to use a British pub as both the title and part of the setting in each subsequent novel in the series which features Scotland Yard Detective Richard Jury, his assistant, Melrose Plant, and Plant's interfering Aunt Agatha. The Anodyne Necklace (1983) won her the Nero Wolfe Award. Her other works include The Stargazey, The Case Has Been Altered, The End of the Pier, Biting the Moon, and Dust. Her title, Vertigo 42, made The New York Times Best Seller List in 2014.