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Dorothy Salisbury Davis

Born: April 25, 1916 in Chicago, Illinois
Died: August 7, 2014 in Palisades, New York

Pen Name: None

Connection to Illinois: Davis was born and raised in Chicago.

Biography: Dorothy Davis was an award winning writer. She was the author of 20 novels, seventeen of which were mysteries and three were historical novels. She also wrote numerous short stories. In 1985, The Mystery Writers of America gave Mrs. Davis a lifetime achievement award, and she came to be regarded as a grande dame among crime writers. She helped found Sisters in Crime in 1986. Davis spent her early childhood in Rhinelander, Wisconsin and in Chicago. She studied literature at Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois and graduated in 1938. Davis worked for Swift & Co. in Chicago, Illinois as a research librarian and was an editor of ''The Merchandiser''. She was a member of the board of directors of the Palisades Free Library, an honorary member of board of directors of the Rockland County Center for the Arts and a member of the Adams Round Table.She was married to actor, Harry Davis, until his death in 1993. They were married for 47 years. At the time of her death, Davis lived in Palisades, New York. Her literary agency was McIntosh & Otis, Inc., in New York City.

  • Seven Edgar nominations Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award in 1985

Primary Literary Genre(s): Crime; Fiction; Historical Fiction; Mystery

Primary Audience(s): Adult readers

Dorothy Salisbury Davis on WorldCat :

Selected Titles

A death in the life
ISBN: 9781480460355 OCLC: 872611245

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis introduces one of her most winning heroines, Julie Hayes, a former actress turned fortune-teller who abruptly learns there is murder in her future Twenty-five-year-old Julie Hayes is feeling overshadowed by her globe-trotting journalist husband and looking for some excitement and direction in life. On what amounts to a dare, she sets herself up as Friend Julie, a storefront fortune-teller in Manhattan's seedy Theater District. Now Julie finds herself concerned with the lives of the neighborhood eccentrics, old friends from the Actors Forum, and street characters such as Goldie the pimp, a wealthy gangster, and a young prostitute who wants Julie to help her escape The Life. But a man is found murdered in the girl's room'a man Julie can identify for the police. Thrust into the investigation of the man's death, Julie discovers a new direction for her life, but her tarot cards reveal a future she might not live to see. A Death in The Life is the first novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Julie Hayes mystery series, which also includes Scarlet Night, Lullaby of Murder, and The Habit of Fear, as well as the stories The Puppet and Justina in the collection In the Still of the Night.

A death in the life /
ISBN: 1892323869 OCLC: 143666361

McIntosh & Otis Books, New York : [1998?]

Black Sheep, White Lamb.
ISBN: 9781480460515 OCLC: 892801884

Open Road Media, Newburyport : 2014.

After a robbery goes wrong, a teenager finds he has a knack for murder in Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's riveting psychological thriller that illuminates the dark corners of a killer's mindThe hamlet of Hillside has one factory, three churches, and more bored teenagers than it knows what to do with. Georgie Rocco is more lost than any of his classmates, and decides one night to take control. When an attempted robbery at the factory turns into murder, Georgie discovers an empowering new talent for exploiting other people's vulnerabilities, including those of his lovely.

  Clay Hand.
ISBN: 1306632277 OCLC: 877040287

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

A hard-boiled newsman and a sharp-witted sheriff team up to solve a murder mystery in Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's suspenseful and disturbing story of death and violence in a small coal-mining town Phil McGovern, the sports editor of an Ohio newspaper, cannot help envying his friend Dick Coffee. Dick travels all over the world reporting on wars, labor strikes, and revolutions; wins Pulitzers; and has a beautiful wife, Margaret, from whom Phil tries to keep his distance because he fears he could fall in love with her too. But when tragedy strikes and Margaret needs him, Phil accompanies her to Winston, a mining town on the West Virginia border, to identify Dick's body. No one knows what Dick was doing in Winston. No one knows if he jumped or was pushed off a cliff. With the inquest delayed and people saying Dick drank heavily and kept company with a local woman, Phil joins forces with Sheriff Sam Fields to determine if Dick was on the trail of another explosive story that might have blown the town apart--and if he died by accident, suicide, or murder.

  Crime without murder :
ISBN: 0575014067 OCLC: 16213559

Gollancz, London : 1972.

  Death of an Old Sinner.
ISBN: 1306632412 OCLC: 877040258

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

A Grand Master of crime fiction, Dorothy Salisbury Davis introduces the redoubtable crime-solving Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Norris in this thrilling tale of family secrets and murder General Ransom Jarvis is writing his memoirs about a distinguished career that spanned five continents and three wars. Along the way, he stumbles upon a scandal about a philandering ancestor--America's ambassador to England who went on to become president of the United States. But a very clear and present danger embroils the irascible retired general in a deepening quagmire of deceit, fraud, and murder. Enter Mrs. Norris, the housekeeper who has been almost a mother to Ransom's son since he was a boy. Jimmie is currently running for governor of New York and enjoying his budding relationship with sculptor Helene Joyce. A sudden death changes everything, plunging Jimmie and Mrs. Norris into a bizarre case headed up by Jasper Tully, chief investigator for the Manhattan district attorney's office. With more lives at stake, the trio follows lead after lead into a web of crime that only the canny housekeeper can clean up in the nick of time. Death of an Old Sinner is the first novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Mrs. Norris Mysteries, which also include A Gentleman Called, a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award; Old Sinners Never Die; and?Mrs. Norris Observes,? a short story in the collection Tales for a Stormy Night. Death of an Old Sinner is the 1st book in the Mrs. Norris Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

  Enemy and Brother.
ISBN: 1306632196 OCLC: 877040328

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

Convicted of murdering a fellow journalist, a writer returns to Greece to find the truth in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's stunning, richly atmospheric novel of deadly political intrigue John Eakins returns to Greece, seemingly to pursue Byron scholarship. But his deeper concern is to find out the truth about the murder of an American newspaperman named Alexander Webb, killed during the Greek Communist rebellion seventeen years before. Eakins had been implicated in that murder. Now, his search takes him from Athens to the primitive village of Kaléa, where he finds Paul Stephanou, a blind man also implicated in the Webb murder. Once enemies, now ostensibly friends, they journey together into an old, unforgetting part of Greece, becoming involved in new intrigue and placing themselves in mortal danger as they uncover the origins of the plot that killed Webb.

  Gentle Murderer.
ISBN: 1306632390 OCLC: 877040227

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

A frightening confession leads a priest to hunt down a murderer in Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's bestselling novel, which critic Anthony Boucher called?one of the best detective stories of modern times? On a hot Saturday night in Manhattan, Father Duffy sits in a confessional, growing alarmed as he listens to the voice of a distraught young man who speaks of bloody hair and a dead woman and a compulsion to do things with a hammer that he does not understand. Before the priest can persuade the man to confess to the police, the killer flees, still clutching the hammer. The next day, Father Duffy learns that a high-class call girl on the East Side has been savagely murdered, and no suspect has been found. As he searches for the disturbed young man who he fears will kill again, cerebral New York Police detective Sergeant Ben Goldsmith takes the lead in the investigation of the call-girl murder, racing against the clock to catch a very clever killer who, when enraged, cannot control his need to swing a hammer.

  Gentleman Called.
ISBN: 1306632358 OCLC: 877040274

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

In Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's second Mrs. Norris novel, which the New York Times hailed as?tensely perplexing,? the crime-solving Scottish housekeeper helps crack the case of a serial lady-killer As housekeeper to James Jarvis's recently deceased father, a retired major general of the US Army, Mrs. Norris has raised Jimmie since boyhood. Now the Wall Street lawyer faces a challenging case. The son of one of the firm's old blue-blood clients has been slapped with a paternity suit. But Teddy Adkins swears he never slept with the woman. Meanwhile, Mrs. Norris is miffed when her gentleman friend Jasper Tully, the widowed chief investigator for the Manhattan DA's office, cancels one dinner date after another because a real estate magnate has been found strangled in the bedroom of her Upper East Side apartment. Jewelry was stolen, but there are no signs of a break-in. Tully's investigation turns up a trail of strangulations that extends all the way to the Midwest. As Mrs. Norris pursues her own unorthodox investigation, she uncovers a shocking link between the cases that threatens her very life. A Gentleman Called, a finalist for the Mystery Writers of America's Edgar Award, is the second novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Mrs. Norris Mysteries, which also include Death of an Old Sinner, Old Sinners Never Die, and?Mrs. Norris Observes,? a short story in the collection Tales for a Stormy Night. A Gentleman Called is the 2nd book in the Mrs. Norris Mysteries, but you may enjoy reading the series in any order.

God speed the night
ISBN: 9781480461314 OCLC: 872611203

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

Hailed by the New York Times as a book you will not readily forget, this World War II adventure tale of a nun who risks her life to help a Jewish couple escape Nazi-occupied France is the collaborative creative effort of Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis and award-winning television writer Jerome Ross It is harvest season in St. Hilaire, and for those who take their living from the land, it should be a joyous time. But in the fall of 1943, there is no joy in France. Paris has fallen, the Vichy government is collaborating with the Germans, and the Gestapo roam the countryside, conscripting French men to toil in faraway German factories. For Sister Gabrielle, a novice in the local convent, the occupation tries her faith as nothing has before. But she is about to get an opportunity to stand up to evil in a way that few of her countrymen have dared. Marc and Rachel Daridan arrive in St. Hilaire just a few steps ahead of the secret police and throw themselves on the mercy of Sister Gabrielle and the other nuns at the Convent of Ste. Genevieve. In a time when doing right can mean death, this devout young woman takes on a risky, seemingly impossible challenge.

In the still of the night :
ISBN: 078623007X OCLC: 45209104

Five Star, Unity, Me. : 2001.

  In the Still of the Night :
ISBN: 1306632420 OCLC: 877040159

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

A collection of eight suspenseful tales from one of the century's finest crime authors With stories published when the author was in her seventies and eighties, this collection proves that after five decades writing crime fiction, Dorothy Salisbury Davis has lost none of her edge. In Christopher and Maggie, based on Davis's own experiences during the Great Depression, a traveling magician stumbles upon a murder victim. In other stories, a woman picks up the wrong hitchhiker, an ex-detective decides to make some money by getting rid of his wife-forever-and a man gets involved in a road accident from which he simply cannot drive away. The Manhattan gossip columnist and part-time sleuth Julie Hayes from A Death in The Life appears in two stories, The Puppet and Justina. Intelligent, chilling, and beautifully written, these stories are a reminder that in crime fiction, there is no substitute for the Grand Master's touch.

  Little Brothers.
ISBN: 1306632323 OCLC: 877040286

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

An engrossing crime novel set in New York's Little Italy from Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis They are a secret society in New York's Little Italy. The Little Brothers swear to a strict code. While they carry out good works, they believe in using?the Killing Eye? on evildoers. When sixteen-year-old Angelo is put up for membership, he is not sure he wants to join. But the assignment the society demands of him sounds easy--to put?the Eye? on an old shopkeeper named Grossman who is suspected of dealing heroin. Then Grossman is stabbed to death and the police have only one suspect: the Italian boy who spent the week outside his shop, watching and waiting for a stranger to die. Alongside Angelo's story, a police investigation unfolds, led by Lieutenant Marks, a cop with a heart and a brain, who is willing to take risks in tracing a series of complicated Mafia connections to catch the true killer.

Lullaby of murder /
ISBN: 0373260210 OCLC: 19461030

Worldwide, Toronto : 1989, c1984.

  Lullaby of Murder.
ISBN: 1306632285 OCLC: 877040277

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

In Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's third Julie Hayes mystery, the intrepid former actress and amateur sleuth returns to Broadway to catch a killer Julie Hayes has come up in the world. Her days as a starving actress behind her, she is married to a globe-trotting journalist, keeping up with her friends from her fortune-telling days, and celebrating a year of gainful employment at the New York Daily. But one of her colleagues is found shot dead in his office--and Julie may have been the last person to see him alive. With a reporter's nose for a scoop, Julie investigates the violent death of one of New York's most infamous--and despised--gossip columnists. But his is not the only troubling death in the past few weeks. A Broadway publicist took his own life by jumping from the George Washington Bridge. Could the two deaths be connected? Determined to find out, Julie gets caught in a violent drama of lies, scandal, and deadly revenge that lights up the Great White Way. Lullaby of Murder is the third novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Julie Hayes mystery series, which also includes A Death in The Life, Scarlet Night, and The Habit of Fear, as well as the stories?The Puppet? and?Justina? in the collection In the Still of the Night.

  Men of no property
ISBN: 9781480460584 OCLC: 872611256

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

Dorothy Salisbury Davis brings to life the joys, hardships, and challenges of the Irish in New York City, following the lives of five people from their voyage to America in 1848 through fifteen turbulent years When the Valiant weighs anchor, the Irish that are crammed into her hold break into song, and with the hymn, say good-bye to the island of their birth. Famine, nationalism, and sectarian strife have crippled the Emerald Isle, and those who can afford it crowd aboard leaky ships, risking death for the possibility of a better life. Among the Valiant's passengers are Peg and Norah Hickey, a pair of lovely young runaways; powerful and charming Dennis Lavery, who sets his sights on Tammany Hall; tough urchin Vinnie Dunne; and Stephen Farrell, a lawyer and journalist who waded into troubled political waters in Ireland. While they begin their journey with optimism in their hearts, as their fortunes prosper in the new world, their lives will be touched in ways they would never expect'by disillusionment, corruption, and the violence of America's Civil War. A tribute to her mother's homeland, this historical novel was the first work of fiction published by Dorothy Salisbury Davis that did not deal with crime and criminals. Nonetheless, she brings to it the same insightful characterization, lively pacing, and engrossing drama that mark her as one of the finest mystery authors of all time.

Old sinners never die
ISBN: 9781480460430 OCLC: 866937530

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : [2014]

  Pale Betrayer.
ISBN: 130663220X OCLC: 877040289

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

Edgar Award Finalist: Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis delivers a thrilling tale of Cold War-era espionage and murder. One afternoon in Manhattan's Washington Square Park, Eric Mather is approached by two men, Tom and Jerry, with a business proposal: a bit of light espionage that may be considered treason. Eric's friend and colleague, physics professor Peter Bradley, is on his way back from an international conference in Athens. In his briefcase is a roll of film that must be confiscated to keep the Cold War from turning hot. Bradley won't miss this little roll of film, they say, and nobody will get hurt. When Bradley is stabbed to death in an apartment on East Tenth Street, Eric realizes he has made a bargain with the wrong people. Desperate to make up for betraying his friend, he ventures into a shadowy world of danger and intrigue as he sets out to learn everything he can about Tom and Jerry--two foreign agents engaged in an atomic game of cat and mouse.

Scarlet night
ISBN: 9781480460447 OCLC: 872611154

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

In Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's second Julie Hayes mystery, the Manhattan fortune-teller is plunged into a mystery that hinges on a stolen Da Vinci masterwork It starts innocently enough. Julie Hayes and her husband have just returned to Manhattan from a month in Paris. Julie looks forward to spending quality time with Jeff, whose career as a journalist takes him away from home for months on end. Now if they could just find the perfect work of art to hang over their mantel. Julie's quest takes her to a trendy SoHo gallery where she meets an itinerant artist named Ralph Abel. Julie instantly falls in love with one of his paintings, Scarlet Night, andis stunned to discover that itcan be hers'for a mere one hundred dollars. But then the artist disappears and it becomes apparent that somebody else wants the painting ... and will do whatever it takes to possess it. Scarlet Night is the second novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Julie Hayes mystery series, which also includes A Death in The Life, Lullaby of Murder, and The Habit of Fear, as well as the stories The Puppet and Justina in the collection In the Still of the Night.

Scarlet night /
ISBN: 0380551292 OCLC: 7892144

Avon, New York : 1981, ©1980.

  Shock Wave.
ISBN: 1306632331 OCLC: 877040131

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

A tour de force of suspense, Shock Wave is the tense tale of a female reporter who, on assignment in a midwestern university town, finds she has stepped into an environment fused for violence After two decades of covering riots, assassinations, and urban decay, Kate Osborn comes to Venice, Illinois, to profile Steve Higgins, an old-school Chicago-style politician. Although Higgins hews to tradition, the problems in Venice are thoroughly modern. Student unrest roils beneath the quiet surface of the university, kept in check only by the well-armed campus police, and in town, the white merchants and black coal miners are preparing to go to war. It takes all of Higgins's strength to keep the town in check--but two shocking murders tip the balance. Kate came to interview a politician, but she is about to get a firsthand look at a war zone right in the middle of America's heartland.

  Tales for a Stormy Night :
ISBN: 130663234X OCLC: 877040255

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

Fifteen spine-tingling stories of murder, mayhem, and the macabre from one of America's finest crime authors Dorothy Salisbury Davis has become known as one of America's finest crime writers through such novels as A Gentle Murderer, The Clay Hand, and Death of an Old Sinner. Her short stories have also won acclaim since they first started to appear in 1952. Now, here are fifteen of them collected in one volume. Lost Generation is classic Dorothy Salisbury Davis: a chilling story of small-town policemen who cross the line between good and evil. In A Matter of Public Notice, a midwestern town is set on edge by three strangulations of women who live alone. Spring Fever introduces readers to a farmer's wife who finds romance to be a fatal attraction. By the Scruff of the Soul presents a case of sibling rivalry turned deadly. And in Mrs. Norris Observes, the inimitable crime-solving housekeeper happens upon an explosive scene at the New York Public Library. These and ten other stories are sometimes comic, sometimes terrifying, but always rewarding.

The habit of fear
ISBN: 9781480460461 OCLC: 872611352

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

The final novel in Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Julie Hayes mystery series takes the amateur sleuth from the mean streets of Manhattan to Ireland in search of the father she never knew Julie Hayes is finally making it as a reporter'with a column at the New York Daily under her own byline'when her husband, Jeff, tells her he has fallen in love with another woman and wants a divorce. Blinded by anger and hurt, she flees their Chelsea apartment. Before the night is over, she will be lying bound and gagged on the floor of a trailer, the victim of a sexual assault by two masked men. Now a tabloid headline herself, Julie tries to help the police search for her assailants. But she is not the same woman anymore. She decides it's time to uncover her mysterious past. Her birth certificate lists her father as Thomas Francis Mooney. Born in Ireland, whereabouts unknown. But danger stalks Julie across the Atlantic, where she is caught up in seething IRA tensions and sees strange connections between her past and present. Now she has an even more urgent goal: to get out of Ireland alive. The Habit of Fear is the fourth novel in Dorothy Salisbury Davis's Julie Hayes mystery series, which also includes A Death in The Life, Scarlet Night, and Lullaby of Murder, as well as the stories The Puppet and Justina in the collection In the Still of the Night.

The habit of fear /
ISBN: 0373260318 OCLC: 20350908

Worldwide, Toronto ; 1989, ©1987.

The judas cat
ISBN: 9781480460478 OCLC: 872611329

Open Road Integrated Media, New York, NY : 2014.

Praised by the New Yorker as excellent, this mystery novel that features a cat as a murder suspect launched the acclaimed literary career of Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis For generations, bitter old Andy Mattson terrified the children of Hillside and puzzled his adult neighbors. How did the scowling old codger, who seemed to spend his life stroking his cat on the front porch, support himself' How did he pass the days' And why did he die such a gruesome death' The police find Andy dead on his sofa, covered in blood, eyes wide with fear. The most likely suspect is the dead man's cat, a howling beast that resembles a trapped badger. But as Chief of Police Waterman digs into the strange death, he finds that beneath Hillside's sunny surface runs a river of hate. An old man was murdered, and it seems many people in town had motives to commit the crime.

  The Little Brothers /
ISBN: 0213164736 OCLC: 3074369

Barker, London : 1974.

  Town of Masks.
ISBN: 1306632439 OCLC: 877040213

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis delivers a spine-tingling novel, hailed by the New York Times as?beautifully written,? about an upstanding small-town spinster whose life is overturned by a shocking murder When other young women left the little town of Campbell's Cove to acquire culture, see the world, fall in love, and marry, Hannah Blake stayed at home, taking a job at the bank and fighting for control of the library board. Overshadowed by the more stylish and popular women in town who seem to block every attempt she makes to improve her life, Hannah remains alone--an increasingly bitter woman whose frustration threatens to erupt into violence when something wonderful happens: One of her rivals is strangled to death. Now Hannah finally has an opportunity to soar. But as the townspeople's suspicions tighten around her, Hannah finds that life in the spotlight is not as glorious as she had imagined.

Where the dark streets go /
ISBN: 0380701316 OCLC: 15258731

Avon, New York : 1986, ©1969.

  Where the Dark Streets Go.
ISBN: 1306632293 OCLC: 877040047

Open Road Media Mystery & Thriller, 2014.

Edgar Award Finalist: Hailed by Mary Higgins Clark as?one of the best mystery-suspense writers,? Grand Master of crime fiction Dorothy Salisbury Davis presents a spellbinding tale of passion and deadly deceit that begins with a dying man's mysterious last words. Father McMahon is struggling to write a sermon when a boy runs into his office. A man in his tenement is dying, the boy says, and it is too late for a doctor or the police. In the basement of the apartment house, Father McMahon kneels beside the blood-soaked man, who has been stabbed with a knife. The man asks for no absolution. He wants to talk of life, not death, and takes to his grave the identity of his killer--and his own. No one in the neighborhood--not his lover or his friends--knows the man's real name, where he came from, or why someone would want to kill him. But in his final minutes, he reveals one clue that sends Father McMahon, a cop, and a wealthy young woman down New York's dark streets, where a killer is waiting to strike again.