An American mystery and thriller writer, she is particularly known for her novels featuring female detective Sharon McCone. Her popular P.I. novel, Vanishing Point, received the Shamus Award.
After graduating from the University of Michigan, she began her literary career by working as a journalist for Sunset Magazine.
In addition to the Sharon McCone series, she wrote the Joanna Stark and Soledad County books.
She was raised in Birmingham, Michigan. She later married Bill Pronzini, a fellow author of detective fiction.
She and Alfred Hitchcock both received the Mystery Writers of America's Grand Master award.