During her writing career, Elizabeth MacKintosh employed two pen names: Josephine Tey, who was also her Suffolk great-great-grandmother, and Gordon Daviot. She was born in Inverness, Scotland, in 1897 and studied at the Royal Academy. Ms MacKintosh went on to study for three years at Birmingham's Anstey Physical Training College before beginning her career as a physical training instructor. She quit her job as a teacher to care for her father, who resided near Loch Ness, and follow her passion for writing. Her first novel, The Man in the Queue (1929), was published under the Gordon Daviot alias and featured Inspector Grant, who is now well-known from the Tey novels.
From 1929 through 1946, the author authored primarily under the Gordon Daviot pen name, during which time she wrote the play Richard of Bordeaux (1933), which ran for a year and starred John Gielgud. A Shilling for Candy, the first of Josephine Tey's mysteries, was released in 1936, followed by Miss Pym Disposes in 1947. The Franchise Affair (1949), Brat Farrar (1949), To Love and Be Wise (1950), The Daughter of Time (1951), and The Singing Sands (1952) are also among the Tey mysteries. Elizabeth MacKintosh died on February 13, 1952, in London.