Elizabeth Daniels was born to a prominent North Carolina family. Her father Jonathan Daniels wrote some 20 histories and biographies and served as a press secretary to President Truman. Her paternal grandfather, also an author, was the founder and publisher of the Raleigh News & Observer, a diplomat, and a Secretary of the Navy. Her maternal aunt Ann Bridgers was a novelist. Elizabeth attended Ashley Hall School in Charleston, South Carolina and graduated from Vassar College. She overcame dyslexia to work as a journalist and become a nationally syndicated newspaper columnist. In 1960, she published her first book, Fortune in Your Hand, about palmistry. Her debut mystery novel was Kill the Messenger (1989). She created absent-minded amateur sleuth Peaches Dunn, the star of another 8 books, in Who Killed What's-Her-Name? (1994). She also wrote short stories, including "The Dog Who Remembered Too Much," which won the Agatha Award in 1995. She died suddenly during a book promotion tour at age 74.