Author Ralph Hammond Innes was born in Horsham, England on July 15, 1914. He attended Cranbrook School in Kent, but left in 1931 to work as a journalist. He published his first novel, The Doppelganger, in 1937. During World War II, he served in the Royal Artillery and published a number of books. In 1946, he became a full-time writer and wrote over thirty novels, children's books, and travel books throughout his career. He published children's books under the pseudonym Ralph Hammond until 1953. Four of his novels were made into films. He was awarded a C.B.E. (Commander, Order of the British Empire) in 1978 and received the Bouchercon Lifetime Achievement award in 1993. He died on June 10, 1998 and left a bulk of his estate to the Assoication of Sea Training Organisations.