British crime writer and poet Julian Symons was born in 1912 in London, England. He founded the poetry magazine Twentieth Century Verse in 1937 and edited it for two years before turning his attention to crime novels. He served in the Royal Armoured Corps from 1942 to 1944 and published his second and final book of poetry then.

During his lifetime, Symons published more than 70 works, mostly unconventional crime novels. His technical narrative skills were notable, and he was interested in the “violence behind respectable forces.” Symons wrote biographies of Thomas Carlyle and Edgar Allan Poe, and he taught at Amherst College in the 1970s. He died in Kent, England, in 1994.