Patricia Wentworth entry: Overview screen.
Writing and Life
Works By
Patricia Wentworth began her writing career early in the twentieth century with half a dozen historical novels and romances and went on to achieve great popularity with between sixty and seventy thrillers, mysteries, and detective novels. She is a sharp observer of social comedy including relationships between the sexes, and her ability to evoke fear and suspense continued to develop throughout her career. She also wrote a book of verse for children and a couple of other poetry volumes. She is notable for inventing, before Agatha Christie's Miss Marple, an elderly female detective whose success is linked to the invisibility and apparent cosiness conferred by her sex and age.
1877 Dora Amy Elles (who later wrote as PW) was born at Mussoorie in India, in the foothills of the Himalayas, one of at least three children in her family. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
By May 1910 PW, using the pseudonym of her entire writing career, published the historical novel A Marriage Under the Terror. The same year came A Child's Rhyme Book. From this date she issued almost one a year of six early novels. Bibliographic Citation link.
By 17 October 1928 PW provided a melodramatic first appearance in Grey Mask for her female detective, the elderly, single, dowdy, but brilliant Miss Maud Silver. Bibliographic Citation link.  scholarly note link.
1961 PW's thirty-second and final Miss Silver mystery, The Girl in the Cellar (whose plot is particularly involved) appeared in the year of her death. Bibliographic Citation link.
28 January 1961 PW died, well on in her eighties. Bibliographic Citation link.
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