This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
MembersReviewsPopularityRatingFavorited   Events   
440 (2,438)2839,346 (3.66)00
No events listed. (add an event)
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Canonical name
Legal name
Other names
Date of birth
Date of death
Burial location
Country (for map)
Place of death
Places of residence
Awards and honors
Short biography
Dorothy Salisbury Davis was born in Chicago and adopted as a toddler by a farm family in Rhinelander, Wisconsin. In 1938, at the height of the Great Depression, she graduated from Barat College in Lake Forest, Illinois, and worked as a magician's assistant, as a research librarian for a Chicago advertising firm, and in public relations. She also was an editor of The Merchandiser, a weekly publication. In 1946, she married Harry Davis, an actor and stage manager who encouraged her to write. She achieved her first big success in 1951 with her third novel, A Gentle Murderer. Over her more than 50-year career, she came to be known as a grande dame of crime writers. She published 17 crime novels, three historical novels, and numerous short stories, many of which portrayed women as strong, complex characters rather than as the usual damsels in distress. She served as president of the Mystery Writers of America in 1956 and was declared an MWA Grand Master for lifetime achievement in 1985.

In 1986, she helped found Sisters in Crime, an organization of female mystery writers.
Disambiguation notice

Member ratings

Average: (3.66)
0.5 1
1 4
2 9
2.5 5
3 45
3.5 19
4 80
4.5 7
5 26

Improve this author

Combine/separate works

Author division

Dorothy Salisbury Davis is currently considered a "single author." If one or more works are by a distinct, homonymous authors, go ahead and split the author.


Dorothy Salisbury Davis is composed of 8 names. You can examine and separate out names.

Combine with…


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 139,581,992 books! | Top bar: Always visible