P. D. James (1920-2014) was born in Oxford in 1920. She worked in the National Health Service and the Home Office From 1949 to 1968, in both the Police Department and Criminal Policy Department. All that experience was used in her novels. She won awards for crime writing in Britain, America, Italy, and Scandinavia, including the Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Award and the National Arts Club Medal of Honour for Literature. She received honorary degrees from seven British universities, was awarded an OBE in 1983 and was created a life peer in 1991.