An American mystery and crime writer, he is known for such works as Madam Will Not Dine Tonight and Last Seen Wearing. He became a Mystery Writers of America Grand Master in 1989.
After graduating from Yale University in 1942, he served in the United States Navy Air Corps and spent two years in Panama.
He published over thirty-five detective novels.
He grew up in New Haven, Connecticut. With his wife, Diana Taylor, he had three children.
He and Michael Connelly were both members of the Mystery Writers of America association.