Patricia Anne Klein Ernst was born on July 1, 1927 in San Fernando, California, USA, the daughter of Gladys Gable and Roy Oliver Ernst. Her mother enrolled her in the famous Meglin Kiddies school, but she recorded only two of her songs professionally for one demo tape. She studied at California State University, Los Angeles, were she worked as secretary to the General Manager of Associated Students by the California State College. In 21 December 1946, she married Marvin Owen Brisco and moved to Arizona, they had two sons: Michael Arvie and David Roy. By 1961, the marriage had ended in divorce. Focused on her writing career, she returned to California, where she met the writer Clayton Matthews in a local writers' group. After Clayton divorced his first wife, he and Patricia married in 3 November 1972 and lived near San Diego.

She started to write poetry, juvenile books, a play, fantasy and mystery short stories, which she signed under different names: Patricia Ernst, P.A. Brisco and Pat A. Brisco. Using the names Patty Brisco and Pat Brisco, she wrote gothic novels. When the market for gothic novels softened, at the suggestion of her husbland agent, Jay Garon, she began to write romance novels under her second married name, Patricia Matthews. In the 1970's, she become a popular writer, called "American's First Lady of Historical Romance". She and her husband also collaborated on several romance and suspense novels using the pseudonyms Laura Wylie and Laurie Wylie. She and her husband wrote five Casey Farrell mystery novels together, and she wrote three on her own, the Thumbprint Mysteries, set in the American Southwest, at the fourth-sixth- and eighth-grade reading levels, yet offer characters, situations, and concerns appropriate for adult readers. With Denise Hrivnak, she also wrote under the pseudonym Denise Matthews. Her husband Clayton died on March 25, 2004. Patricia died on December 7, 2006 in the Brisco family home in Prescott, Arizona.

Book List in Order:6 titles

  • Holly and Jeff are so much in love.... Then Holly tells Jeff she's going to have a baby. What can they do? Their parents are furious and can't agree about anything. Jeff is so confused he hardly seems to care what happens! Holly doesn't know which wa...



  • From her first glimpse of the fog-shrouded mansion Maggie felt that there was something hidden and secretive about Gull House. It all seemed to be centered around Undine, the beautiful young girl washed up, only half alive from the sea, a victim of a...



    • / Gothic
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    A GAZE AWAY FROM DEATH Mittie Jane's first client was a pretty young girl named Lisa whose family thought she was crazy. Lisa insisted that the baby she had given birth to in Spain had been kidnapped one day when she went out to the market. But the ...


    • / Gothic
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    The shadow of a hanging woman long dead turns Molly's honeymoon house into a menacing nightmare. When Molly married the distinguished and charming movie actor, she went to live in the old, vine-covered mansion high in the Hollywood hills. She was hap...