Catherine Gilbert Murdock was born in Charleston, South Carolina. Her father was a chemical engineer, her mother a nurse. Along with her only sister, novelist Elizabeth Gilbert, she grew up on a small family Christmas tree farm in Litchfield, Connecticut. The family lived in the country with no neighbors, and had a very old TV. Consequently, they all read a great deal.
She attended Bryn Mawr College and the University of Pennsylvania. Her first book was Dairy Queen (2006), a critically acclaimed novel for young adults. She also wrote the sequel to Dairy Queen, The Off Season. Murdock's third book, Princess Ben, was released in 2008. The Dairy Queen series is being continued by a third book, Front and Center, which was released on October 19, 2009.
She now lives in suburban Philadelphia with her husband and children.