David Dodge


David Dodge was born in Berkeley, California. His career as a writer began when he made a bet with his wife Elva that he could write a better mystery novel than the one she was reading. He drew on his professional experience as a Certified Public Accountant to create his first series character, San Francisco tax expert and reluctant detective James “Whit” Whitney. Death and Taxes was published in 1941 and he won five dollars from Elva. Three more Whitney novels were published between 1943 and 1946.

After Pearl Harbor, Dodge was commissioned in the U.S. Navy and emerged three years later as a Lieutenant Commander. On his release from active duty, he set out for Guatemala by car with his wife and daughter. His Latin American experiences produced a second series character, expatriate private investigator and tough-guy adventurer Al Colby, and inspired Dodge’s second career as a travel writer.

Dodge was fond of explaining that while many writers traveled in order to gather material to write about, his goal was to write in order to gather money to travel. David Dodge also wrote short stories, magazine articles, and plays, but he is best known as the author of To Catch a Thief, which Alfred Hitchcock turned into a little film starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly.

You may have heard of it…




  • How Green Was My Father (1947)
  • How Lost Was My Weekend (1948)
  • The Crazy Glasspecker (1949)
  • 20,000 Leagues Behind the 8-Ball (1951)
  • The Poor Man’s Guide to Europe (1953)
  • Time Out for Turkey (1955)
  • The Rich Man’s Guide to the Riviera (1962)
  • The Poor Man’s Guide to the Orient (1965)
  • Fly Down, Drive Mexico (1968)


  • PLUNDER OF THE SUN Buy this DVD Watch it now!
    (1953; Warner Bros.)
    Based on the novel by David Dodge
    Directed by John Farrow
    Screenplay by Jonathan Latimer
    Starring Glenn Ford as AL COLBY
  • TO CATCH A THIEF Buy this DVD  Buy this Blu-Ray Watch it now!
  • (1955; Paramount)
    Based on the novel by David Dodge
    Directed by Alfred Hitchcock
    Screenplay by John Michael Hayes
    Starring Cary Grant and Grace Kelly
    Also starring Jessie Royce Landis, John Williams, Charles Vanel, Brigitte Auber


  • The David Dodge Companion
    Randal Brandt, in collaboration with the author’s daughter, is the creator/manager of one of the finest single-author sites I’ve ever seen. Check this one out–you won’t regret it..
Respectfully submitted by Randal Brandt (June 1999).

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