Patricia Wentworth

10 Nov 1878
28 Jan 1961
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Patricia Wentworth (born Dora Amy Elles; November 10, 1878 – January 28, 1961) was a British crime fiction writer.

She was born in Mussoorie, Uttarakhand, India (then the British Raj), educated privately and at Blackheath High School in London.

After the death of her first husband, George F. Dillon, in 1906, she settled in Camberley, Surrey. She married George Oliver Turnbull in 1920 and they had one daughter.

Wentworth wrote a series of 32 crime novels in the classic-style whodunit featuring Miss Maud Silver, a retired governess and teacher who becomes a professional private detective, in London, England. She works closely with Scotland Yard, especially Inspector Frank Abbott and is fond of quoting the poet Tennyson. Miss Silver is sometimes compared to Jane Marple, the elderly detective created by Agatha Christie.

“Miss Silver is well known in the better circles of society, and she finds entree to the troubled households of the upper classes with little difficulty. In most of Miss Silver’s cases there is a young couple whose romance seems ill fated because of the murder to be solved, but in Miss Silver’s competent hands the case is solved, the young couple are exonerated, and all is right in this very traditional world.”

Wentworth also wrote 34 books outside of that series. She won the Melrose prize in 1910 for her first novel A Marriage Under The Terror, set in the French Revolution. Her novels have been the topic of a doctoral dissertation.

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