A popular American mystery writer, he is most famous for his detective series featuring Professor Craig Kennedy. He also wrote several screenplays, including The Exploits of Elaine (1914).
He worked as an editor and journalist. He published one of his earliest short stories, The Black Hand, in 1911.
Some critics refer to his Professor Craig Kennedy character as "The American Sherlock Holmes."
He had three children with his wife, Margaret Allen Wilson.
He is often compared to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.