Margery Allingham, one of Englands leading mystery writers, was born on May 20, 1904, in Ealing, a western suburb of London, but grew up in a remote village in Essex. Both of her parents were writers, and Margery carried on that tradition when she sold her first short story as an eight-year-old. At the Regent Street Polytechnic, she continued writing and studied drama and speech. While there, she wrote a verse play, Dido and Aeneas, in which she had a starring role during performances in London. At age 19, Allington published her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick. She wrote another novel, The White Cottage Mystery, before creating her most famous character, Albert Campion, in The Black Dudley Murder (published in England as The Crime at Black Dudley) in 1929. Allington went on to create twenty-eight more Campion mysteries, including several collections. She wrote more than 10 other novels, some under the pseudonym Maxwell March, as well as four novellas and sixty-four short stories. During World War II, Allingham served as First Aid Commandant for her district, organized the billeting and care of evacuees from London, and allowed her house to be turned into a temporary military base for eight officers and two hundred men of the Cameronians. The war greatly deepened Allinghams passion for her country, as evidenced in her later works. Allingham died of cancer on June 30, 1966.