Delano Ames was born on a farm in Mount Vernon, Ohio. His maternal grandfather Columbus Delano served as Secretary of the Interior in President Grant's cabinet. In 1917, the family moved to New Mexico. As a young man, Ames attended schools in the East, including Yale University and Columbia University, and settled in New York City. In 1929, he married Maysie Greig, an Australian-born writer; they divorced in 1937. For several years, he lived in England, where he married his second wife, Kit. He worked for British intelligence during World War II. He also edited anthologies, contributed stories and articles to British magazines and worked as a translator for Larousse. Ames was the author of some 25 books, beginning with Uneasily to Bed, published in 1934. Many of them were mystery novels featuring a husband-and-wife team of amateur sleuths named Jane and Dagobert Brown. A later series of novels featured Juan Llorca of the Spanish Civil Guard.