Sarah Caudwell was the pen name of Sarah Cockburn, born in Cheltenham, England, to a family of journalists and political writers. She graduated in Classics from University of Aberdeen, read law at the University of Oxford, and lectured on the law for several years. In 1966, she became a Chancery barrister in Lincoln's Inn Fields and later specialized in international tax planning at Lloyds Bank, where she became a senior executive in the trust department. Over a period of 20 years, she wrote a series of acclaimed "legal whodunits" set primarily at Lincoln's Inn, featuring Prof. Hilary Tamar, beginning with Thus Was Adonis Murdered (1981). She collaborated with Lawrence Block, Tony Hillerman and others for the novel The Perfect Murder: Five Great Mystery Writers Create the Perfect Crime (1991), and contributed stories to numerous anthologies.
She also wrote a play, The Madman’s Advocate. She died of cancer at age 60 in 2000.