E.C. Bentley was born in 1875 and educated at St Paul's School, London, where he met eminent critic and author G K Chesterton, who became his closest friend. Bentley began a lifelong career in journalism in 1902, working for ten years on the editorial staff of the Daily News and for a further twenty years on the Daily Telegraph. In 1905, he published Biography for Beginners (under the pseudonym E Clerihew), which was a volume of nonsense verse consisting of four-lines and called 'clerihews' (in his honour), which became as popular as the limerick form. Two further volumes followed in 1929 and 1939. Bentley's masterpiece, Trent's Last Case (1913), was written in exasperation at the infallibility of Sherlock Holmes and marked the beginning of a new era in detective fiction. Indeed, it has long been hailed as marking the start of the 'Golden Age of Crime Fiction' and the first truly modern mystery. The sequel, Trent's Own Case, did not appear for a further twenty three years and this was then followed by a book of short stories; Trent Intervenes. Of Trent's Last Case Agatha Christie wrote: 'One of the three bes detective stories ever written', whilst Dorothy L Sayers stated 'It is the one detective story of the present century which I am certain will go down to posterity as a classic. It is a masterpiece'.