G.D.H. and Margaret Cole

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George Douglas Howard Cole

Born: 25 September 1889, Cambridge

Died: 14 January 1959, London

Margaret Cole

Born: 6 May 1893, Cambridge

Died: 7 May 1980, Goring-on-Thames

Two prominent Socialist economists who took up detective writing as a hobby.  At their best, they are clever and amusing writers, with a bent for satire.  Their detective, Superintendent Wilson, discovers a prominent politician in shady business, and resigns.  Their 1920s and early 1930s books are lively and ingenious, but they gradually lost interest in the genre; their late books suffer from shoddy construction and arbitrary murderers.

Best books:

  • The Death of a Millionaire (1925)
  • The Man from the River (1928)
  • “In a Telephone Cabinet” (in Superintendent Wilson’s Holiday, 1928)
  • Dead Man’s Watch (1931)
  • Death in the Quarry (1934)

Further reading:

  • Curtis Evans, The Spectrum of English Murder: The Detective Fiction of Henry Lancelot Aubrey-Fletcher and G.D.H. and Margaret Cole (2015)


  1. The Brooklyn Murders (1923; Superintendent Wilson)
  2. The Death of a Millionaire (1925; Superintendent Wilson)
  3. The Blatchington Tangle (1926; Wilson)
  4. The Murder at Crome House (1927)
  5. The Man from the River (1928; Superintendent Wilson)
  6. Superintendent Wilson’s Holiday (1928; short stories)
  7. Poison in the Garden Suburb (1929; Wilson)
  8. Burglars in Bucks (1930; Wilson; published in the US as The Berkshire Mystery)
  9. Corpse in Canonicals (1930; Superintendent Wilson; aka The Corpse in the Constable’s Garden)
  10. The Great Southern Mystery (1931; Superintendent Wilson; published in the US as The Walking Corpse)
  11. Dead Man’s Watch (1931; Superintendent Wilson)
  12. Death of a Star (1932)
  13. A Lesson in Crime (1933; short stories)
  14. The Affair at Aliquid (1933)
  15. End of an Ancient Mariner (1933; Superintendent Wilson)
  16. Death in the Quarry (1934; Superintendent Wilson)
  17. Big Business Murder (1935; Superintendent Wilson)
  18. Dr. Tancred Begins (1935)
  19. Scandal at School (1935; published in the US as The Sleeping Death)
  20. Last Will and Testament (1936)
  21. The Brothers Sackville (1936; Superintendent Wilson)
  22. Disgrace to the College (1937)
  23. The Missing Aunt (1937; Superintendent Wilson)
  24. Mrs. Warrender’s Profession (1938; short stories)
  25. Off with her Head! (1938; Superintendent Wilson)
  26. Double Blackmail (1939; Superintendent Wilson)
  27. Greek Tragedy (1939; Superintendent Wilson)
  28. Wilson and Some Others (1940; short stories)
  29. Murder at the Munition Works (1940; Superintendent Wilson)
  30. Counterpoint Murder (1940; Superintendent Wilson)
  31. Knife in the Dark (1941)
  32. Toper’s End (1942; Superintendent Wilson)
  33. Birthday Gifts (1946; short stories)

What they say…

“Few crime experts are so consistently good as are the two Coles.” – Evening News

 “These famous authors have achieved a flawless technique.” – Country Life

“A Cole story is always a first-class story.” – Illustrated London News

“I enjoy all Mr. and Mrs. Cole’s stories.” – Sunday Times

“The Coles must be placed in the front rank of thriller writers.” – Northern Despatch

“Mr. and Mrs. Cole are deservedly noted for their detective stories.” – Scotsman