Patricia Wentworth

Patricia Wentworth, born Dora Amy Turnbull (née Elles), was a British crime fiction writer. She is best known for her bestselling mystery series featuring Miss Maud Silver, a retired governess turned private detective.

Patricia Wentworth was born in Mussoorie, British India. She was the daughter of General Edmond Elles and Clare, Lady Elles (née Rothney). She received her early education privately before attending Blackheath High School for Girls in London.

In her personal life, she married Lt. Col. George Frederick Horace Dillon, with whom she had one daughter. She also became a stepmother to Dillon's three sons, two of whom died during World War I.

After Dillon died in 1906, she settled in Camberley, Surrey. In 1920, she married Lt. Col. George Oliver Turnbull. She adopted the pen name Patricia Wentworth, inspired by her stepson’s middle name, after Wentworth Dillon, 4th Earl of Roscommon.

Patricia Wentworth began her writing career with romances but soon turned to crime fiction. She wrote 32 crime novels in the classic whodunit style, featuring Miss Maud Silver. Miss Silver, a retired governess and teacher, becomes a professional private detective in London, working closely with Scotland Yard, especially Inspector Frank Abbott. Miss Silver, who quotes Tennyson, is often compared to Agatha Christie's Miss Marple.

Wentworth's Miss Silver series includes notable works such as Grey Mask (1928), The Case Is Closed (1937), and Lonesome Road (1939). The series continued with titles like The Chinese Shawl (1943), The Clock Strikes Twelve (1944), and The Catherine Wheel (1949). Miss Silver's cases often involve young couples whose romance is complicated by a murder, which Miss Silver ultimately solves.

Beyond the Miss Silver series, Patricia Wentworth wrote 34 other books. Her first novel, A Marriage Under the Terror (1910), set during the French Revolution, won the Melrose Prize. Her other works include standalone novels and series featuring characters like Frank Garrett and Benbow Smith.

Patricia Wentworth passed away on 28 January 1961, aged 83.
years of life: 10 November 1877 28 January 1961
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