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Melville Davisson Post was born on April 19, 1869 in Romines Mills, WV. He was born into a prosperous, landed family, and he grew up knowing about horses, cattle, the outdoor life, and local folklore which provided him with material which would appear later in his novels. He obtained a law degree at the West Virginia University in 1892, and practised criminal and corporate law for 11 years. He was also active in Democratic politics. With the success of his first series, he left his law career and wrote full time. His stories were published in The Saturday Evening Post,The Ladies Home Journal, and Hearst's and other magazines. He was the most commercially successful magazine writer of his day.
Post and his wife Ann lived fashionably. They enjoyed the resort life in Bar Harbor and Newport, and traveled to Europe frequently. Ann died in 1919. Post himself died on June 23, 1930 as a result of a fall from a horse.
Post developed six series characters. Randolph Mason was an aristocratic New York city lawyer. He was a recluse and, at first, only took clients who came to him as a last resort. Later, he took clients who were victims of the legal system. His first appearance was in The Strange Schemes of Randolph Mason (1896)
Uncle Abner was a cattle rancher and outdoorsman on the Virginia frontier. He was a kind and wise philosopher and resolved cases of rural crime and mystery. His first appearance was in Uncle Abner, Master of Mysteries (1918).
M. Jonquelle was the prefect of police in Paris and an international policeman who travelled around the world solving cases. He appears in the book Monsier Jonquelle, Perfect of Police of Paris (1923).
Sir Henry Marquis was the chief of the Criminal Investigation Department at Scotland Yard. He directs investigations around the world. He appears in the The Sleuth of St. James Square (1920) and The Bradmoor Murder (1929).
Captain Walker was the chief of the United States Secret Service. As a youth he had pursued a life of crime, but as a adult, he solved tackled difficult cases. He appears in Walker of the Secret Service (1924).
Colonel Braxton was a mature Virginia lawyer whose country wisdon and knowledge of the law allowed to succeed in courtroom dramas. He is featured in The Silent Witness (1930).
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