Died September 13, 1993
De la Torre was born in Manhattan in 1902. She received her associate's degree from the College of New Rochelle, before going to study 18th Century Studies at Columbia University and Radcliffe College (now a part of Harvard), from where she earned master's degrees.
Her first novel was Elizabeth Is Missing, or Truth Triumphant, published by Knopf in 1945. Her most popular works were the Dr. Sam: Johnson, Detector series of 33 detective stories that cast Samuel Johnson and James Boswell into Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson roles. This series, which de la Torre began in 1943 with The Great Seal of England, is one of the earliest examples of the historical mystery, a literary genre which combines historical fiction and the whodunit/detective story. She also wrote numerous books, short stories for Ellery Queen's Mystery Magazine, reviews for The New York Times Book Review, poetry and plays. In 1955, she was nominated for an Edgar Award for Best Fact Crime for The Truth about Belle Gunness (1955).
De la Torre served as President of the Mystery Writers of America in 1979, and in 1980 she received the Medal of Distinction in the Fine Arts from the Colorado Springs Chamber of Commerce.
She died in 1993 at the age of 91. She was predeceased by her husband George McCue.