John Dudley Ball ( July 8th, 1911 - October 15th, 1988 ) was born in Schenectady ( New York, United States ). He grew up in Milwaukee ( Wisconsin, United States ) and attended Carroll College in Waukesha ( Wisconsin ).
While in college, he performed as a semi - professional magician under the names " Jacques Morintell " and " Howduzi ". He was listed in the " Who's Who in Magic " in the May 1933 issue of The Sphinx ( an independent magazine for magicians, March 1902 - March 1953) and contributed an article called " Further Ideas " to The Sphinx in 1937.
John D. Ball wrote for a number of magazines and newspapers, including the Brooklyn Eagle. For a time he worked as a part - time Reserve Reputy for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Office ( California, United States ), was trained in martial arts, and was a nudist.
In the mid - 1980's, he was the book review columnist for Mike Shayne Mystery Magazine. As a novelist, John D. Ball has published several books, such as : Operation Springboard ( 1958 ), In the Heat of the Night ( Virgil Tibbs series, 1965 ), Miss One Thousand Spring Blossoms ( 1968 ), Five Pieces of Jade ( Virgil Tibbs series, 1972 ), A Killing in the Market ( 1978 ), The Kiwi Target ( 1988 ).
( source : Wikipedia )