Elizabeth Daly

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Elizabeth Daly
BornElizabeth T. Daly
October 15, 1878
New York City
DiedSeptember 2, 1967(1967-09-02) (aged 88)
Roslyn, New York
OccupationMystery writer
Notable awardsEdgar Allan Poe Award (Special Edgar) 1961
ParentsJoseph F. Daly and Emma Barker Daly[1]

Elizabeth T. Daly (October 15, 1878 – September 2, 1967) was an American writer of mystery novels whose main character, Henry Gamadge, was a bookish author, bibliophile, and amateur detective.[2] A writer of light verse and prose for Life, Puck, and Scribner's magazines in her earlier years, Daly published her first Gamadge novel, Unexpected Night, at age 60.[3] Between 1940 and 1951, she published 16 novels featuring Gamadge.[1]

Her career included two years as a reader at Bryn Mawr College, 1904–06. At other times, she tutored in French and English, and she was a producer of amateur theater.[4]

Personal life[edit]

Born Elizabeth T. Daly[5] in 1878 in New York City, she was the daughter of Joseph F. Daly, a New York Supreme Court justice, and Emma Barker Daly.[3] She graduated from Bryn Mawr College with a B.A. in 1901 and from Columbia University with an M.A. in 1902. Daly was an honorary member of the Mystery Writers of America.[1] She died in Roslyn, New York, in 1967 at age 88.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Charles Shibuk, in St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers, said that Daly was Agatha Christie's favorite American mystery writer. Daly successfully used many of the literary conventions employed by Christie and other writers of the Golden Age of Detective Fiction, he said, and "was always both civilized and literate".[4] The Mystery Writers of America, referring to her as "the grande dame of women mystery writers", awarded her a "Special Edgar" in 1961.[6]


Henry Gamadge novels[edit]

  • Unexpected Night (1940)
  • Deadly Nightshade (1940)
  • Murders in Volume 2 (1941)
  • The House Without the Door (1942)
  • Evidence of Things Seen (1943)
  • Nothing Can Rescue Me (1943)
  • Arrow Pointing Nowhere (1944) (Also published as Murder Listens In)
  • The Book of the Dead (1944)
  • Any Shape or Form (1945)
  • Somewhere in the House (1946)
  • The Wrong Way Down (1946)
  • Night Walk (1947)
  • The Book of the Lion (1948)
  • And Dangerous to Know (1949)
  • The Book of Crime (1951)
  • Death and Letters (1953)
  • An Elizabeth Daly Mystery Omnibus: Three Henry Gamadge Novels (includes Murders in Volume 2, Evidence of Things Seen, and The Book of the Dead) (1960)


  • The Street Has Changed (1941)


  1. ^ a b c "Elizabeth Daly". Contemporary Authors Online. Gale. 2003. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
  2. ^ John M. Reilly, ed. (1980). "Daly, Elizabeth". Twentieth-Century Crime and Mystery Writers. MacMillan. pp. 422–24. ISBN 0-333-30107-2.
  3. ^ a b c "Elizabeth Daly: Author of Many Detective Novels". The Los Angeles Times. September 4, 1967. p. 53. Retrieved October 30, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  4. ^ a b Shibuk, Charles (1996). "Daly, Elizabeth". In Pederson, Jay P. (ed.). St. James Guide to Crime and Mystery Writers (4th ed.). Detroit: St. James Press. pp. 272–73. ISBN 1-55862-178-4.
  5. ^ "Obituary: Elizabeth T. Daly". Daily News. New York, New York. September 4, 1967. p. 46. Retrieved December 27, 2019 – via newspapers.com.
  6. ^ "Edgars Database". Mystery Writers of America. Retrieved October 31, 2019.