Dorothy Gilman was born in New Brunswick, New Jersey, to minister James Bruce and Essa (Starkweather) Gilman. She started writing when she was 9 and knew early on she was to be a writer. At 11, she competed against 10 to 16-year-olds in a story contest and won first place. She attended Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts and briefly the University of Pennsylvania. She planned to write and illustrate children's books. She married Edgar A. Butters Jr, in 1945, this ended in divorce in 1965. Dorothy worked as an art teacher & telephone operator before becoming an author. She wrote children’s stories for more than ten years under the name Dorothy Gilman Butters and then began writing adult novels about Mrs. Pollifax–a retired grandmother who becomes a CIA agent. The Mrs. Pollifax series made Dorothy famous. While her stories nourish people’s thirst for adventure and mystery, Dorothy knew about nourishing the body as well. On her farm in Nova Scotia, she grew medicinal herbs and used this knowledge of herbs in many of her stories, including A Nun in the Closet. She travelled extensively, and used these experiences in her novels as well. Many of Dorothy’s books, feature strong women having adventures around the world. In 2010 Gilman was awarded the annual Grand Master Award by the Mystery Writers of America. Dorothy spent much of her life in Connecticut, New Mexico, and Maine. She died at age 88 of complications of Alzheimer's disease. She is survived by two sons, Christopher Butters and Jonathan Butters; and two grandchildren.