Margery Allingham was born in London in 1904. The child of two writers, she grew up in the village of Layer Breton near Colchester and spent much of her childhood writing stories and plays. Her first novel, Blackkerchief Dick, was published in 1923 when she was only nineteen. Her breakthrough came in 1929 with the publication of The Crime at Black Dudley, which introduced Albert Campion, the gentleman sleuth who went on to become her most famous character and featured in eighteen further novels and numerous short stories, including Sweet Danger and The Tiger in the Smoke, establishing her as one of the four queens of the Golden Age of crime. Allingham died in 1966 and her husband, Philip Youngman Carter, completed her final Campion novel, The Cargo of Eagles.