Born in Singapore, the daughter of a British diplomat,TESSA ARLEN has lived in Egypt, Germany, the Persian Gulf, China and India. True to ex-patriate tradition she was sent home to England when she was ten to a girls’ private boarding school in Buckinghamshire; certainly the least fun place to be in the sixties. Cold dormitories, dreadful food and rules forbidding whistling, sitting on beds or hemlines above the knee sent her into an eight year day-dream. Her academic career was saved by an exceptional and rather eccentric history teacher, Elfreda Neale, who was married to the Elizabethan and Parliamentary historian Sir John Neale, and was fond of reminding her pupils that history was simply ‘very old gossip.’ Tessa came to the U.S. in 1980 and worked at the Los Angeles Olympic Organizing Committee for the 1984 Olympic Games, as an HR recruiter, where she interviewed her future husband for a job. They moved with their three daughters to the Pacific Northwest in 1990, and live on an island in the Puget Sound where she gardens in summer and writes in winter. Her Lady Montfort series of historical mysteries is published by Thomas Dunne Books.