A Japanese-born American writer of more than seventy mystery novels, she is best known for titles such as The Mystery of the Hidden Hand, Red is for Murder, and The Quicksilver Pool. Unique among mystery writers, she wrote for both adult and youth audiences.
She published her first novel, A Place for Ann, in 1941.
The New York Times once named her "The Queen of the American Gothics."
The Japanese-born daughter of American parents, she spent her childhood in Asia.
She and Marcia Muller both received the Grand Master Award from the Mystery Writers of America association.