Gladys Mitchell was born in the village of Cowley, Oxford, in April 1901. She was educated at the Rothschild School, Brentford, the Green School, Isleworth, and at Goldsmiths’ and University Colleges, London. For many years Miss MItchell taught History and English, swimming and games. She retired from this work in 1950, but became so bored withour the constant stimulus and irritation of teaching that she accepted a post at the Matthew Arnold School, Staines, where she taught English and History, wrote the annual school play, and coached hurdling. She was a member of the Detection Club, the P.E.N., the Middlesex Education Society, and the British Olympic Assosciation. Her father’s family are Scots, and a Scottish influence has appeared in some of her books.
Her first crime novel featuring Mrs. Bradley was published in 1929, when Gladys Mitchell was 28. Gladys went on to be published until 1983 when she died. She wrote 65 Mrs. Bradley novels, a number of children’s books and several books under the pseudonyms Malcolm Torrie and Stephen Hookaby.