The son of a scientist, John Ball was born in Schenectady, New York, and grew up in Milwaukee. He attended Carroll College in Wisconsin. He subsequently worked as a science staff writer on Fortune, a music critic and feature writer for the Brooklyn Eagle, a daily columnist on the New York World-Telegram & Sun, a broadcaster for a Washington radio station, and a Director of Public Relations for the Institute of Aerospace Sciences. His In the Heat of the Night was awarded a Mystery Writers of America "Edgar" for the Best First Mystery Novel of the Year, and since had been followed by The Cool Cottontail, also featuring his African-American detective, Virgil Tibbs. Mr. Ball has also authored a number of notable young adult books.
Praise for John Ball
"The guy certainly knows his airplanes well and he held my interest very tightly as he developed the story."
—RICHARD BACH, author of Stranger to the Ground and Biplane (Rescue Mission)
"A nice tight murder puzzle."
—Times Literary Supplement (Five Pieces of Jade)
"A taut, dramatic yarn."
—Charlotte Observer (Five Pieces of Jade)
"Tibbs is as much a model of perfection as the late Wimsey... A good detective who actually ratiocinates."
—Times Literary Supplement (London) (Then Came Violence)
"John Ball knows how to run with a good plot--and this is one of his best."
—Kirkus Reviews (Singapore)
"A top notch mystery."
—News & Observer (The Kiwi Target)
"A breathtaking suspense thriller."
—Seattle Post-Intelligencer (The Kiwi Target)
"The Kiwi Target is the last book that John Ball wrote. We shall miss his inspiration."
—Mystery Scene (The Kiwi Target)