She was born in Inverness, Scotland, and attended a physical training college in Birmingham, England, before becoming a teacher. However, her literary career began only when she was forced to give up regular work in order to care for her invalid father.
In six of the mystery novels she wrote under the name of Josephine Tey, the hero was Scotland Yard Inspector Alan Grant; the most famous of them is The Daughter of Time, in which Grant, laid up in the hospital, has friends research reference books so he can puzzle out the mystery of whether King Richard III of England murdered his nephews, the Princes in the Tower. It was the last book she published, shortly before her death.
As Gordon Daviot she wrote about a dozen one-act plays and another dozen full-length plays, but only four of them were produced during her lifetime. She also wrote a biography and three novels that were not mysteries.
Mystery novels by Tey :