Author Marc Hirsch began writing his first book of historical detective fiction before retiring from medical practice in 2011. The Case, set in 1950s NYC, became the start of the Alice White Investigator series. His excitement about detective fiction came from reading Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett, and Erle Stanley Gardner in the early 1970s, just after graduating medical school at Boston University.
Alice White is based on the author's older sister, Nancy, with whom he grew up in post WWII, the Bronx, New York City. Nancy and their mother, Isabelle, refused to settle for a life of domestic bliss and found that holding down a job and marriage were not mutually exclusive. Alice White has some of that die hard mentality.