Delano Ames

Born: May 29, 1906
Died: January 1987

Ohio connection: Birth

Mount Vernon

Delano Ames was born in Mount Vernon, Ohio, on May 29, 1906.  He was the son of Benjamin and Isabel Cooper (nee Kirk) Ames. Delano’s father was a prominent businessman in Knox County, but moved the family to New Mexico in 1917.  As a young man, Ames attended schools in the eastern United States, including Columbia University. In 1929 Ames married novelist Maysie Coucher Grieg; they divorced in 1937. Ames left the United States in 1937 for England, where he met his second wife, Kathleen “Kit” Woodard; they married in 1942. Ames lived most of his life in Europe and considered England his home.

A prolific writer, Ames was a novelist, editor and translator who wrote short stories and articles for British magazines. He published more than 25 books. In 1932 his first book, They Journey by Night was published; it was followed by No Traveller Returns (1934) and A Double Bed on Olympus(1936).  Ames is best known for the Jane and Dagobert Brown mysteries featuring a British detective couple, and the Juan Llora Spanish mystery series about a sergeant in the Spanish Civil Guard who solves mysteries

The first book in the Jane and Dagobert Brown series was She Shall Have Murder (1948), followed by Murder Begins at Home (1949).  Other books in the series include Corpse Diplomatique (1950), Murder Maestro, Please (1952), and For Old Crime’s Sake (1959).  The Juan Llora mysteries include The Man in the Tricorn Hat (1960), The Man with Three Jaguars (1961), The Man with Three Chins (1965), and The Man with Three Passports (1967).  Ames’ final novel was The Man with Three Passports (1967) and his last translation, Larousse Science of Life: A Study of Biology, Sex, Genetics, Heredity, and Evolution by Jean Rostand, was published in 1971.

Delano Ames died in 1987 at age 80 in Madrid, Spain.