Lawrence Treat was born Lawrence Arthur Goldstone on December 21, 1903, in New York City (he changed his name legally in 1940). He had an excellent education, obtaining a bachelor’s degree from Dartmouth College in 1924 and a law degree from Columbia University in 1927.
Treat practiced law for only a short time. For many years he had wanted to write, and he was writing poetry while still in law school. He had practiced law for only three months when his firm broke up in 1928, and the partners gave him ten weeks’ salary (three hundred dollars). He determined to devote his time to writing. He went to Paris, wrote poetry and worked at odd jobs, and roomed with an old camp counselor and his wife in Brittany. Treat soon came to realize that even if he were a much better poet, he would still be unable to make a living at that craft. A mystery magazine he picked up in a Paris bookstore changed his career. Treat’s earliest contributions to mystery fiction were picture puzzles, some of which were collected in Bringing Sherlock Home (1930).
After returning to the United States, he married Margery Dallet in June, 1930. During the 1930’s, a period of frustration and indecision, he began writing for pulp mystery magazines (he wrote about three hundred short stories and twenty novels during his lifetime). His marriage to Margery ended in divorce in 1939. During a period of frustration and indecision, he discovered the world of detective...
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