Belton Cobb (1892-1971)

Belton Cobb, born Geoffrey Belton Cobb on 10 July 1892 in Tunbridge Wells, Kent, was the son of novelist Thomas Cobb, who also wrote mysteries. He was a well known and prolific writer of detective stories who signed his works Belton Cobb, and sometimes G. Belton Cobb. Before World War II Cobb was a sales director for Longman’s publishers and a regular contributor to Punch and other magazines. He produced a long series of books featuring Inspector Cheviot Burmann (41 titles), who at the end of his career gave way to Bryan Armitage (21 titles). Cobb also wrote a series of six books between 1947 and 1950 featuring Superintendent Manning. Its series characters sometimes overlap. He also wrote a non-fiction book about police killed in action, Murdered on Duty (1966). Belton Cobb, who has also published historical studies of criminology, was invited to join the prestigious Detection Club in 1958. He died on 15 August 1971.

Selected Bibliography: No Alibi (1936), The Poisoner’s Mistake (1936), Fatal Dose (1937), Quickly Dead (1937), The Fatal Holiday (1938), Like A Guilty Thing (1938), Death Defies the Doctor (1939), Sergeant Ross in Disguise (1940), Home Guard Mystery (1941), Inspector Burmann’s Black-out (1941).

For a more detail bibliography click here at Fantastic Fiction.

Mike Grost at A Guide to Classic Mystery and Detection states: Belton Cobb was a prolific author of mystery novels. Their police detectives and stolid sleuthing link them to the Freeman Wills Crofts tradition, although they are otherwise not too close to Crofts.

Commentary on Belton Cobb:

Though Cobb had a long career in crime fiction lasting well into the early 1970s it is his early work from the 1930s through the mid 1940s that is worth your attention and The Poisoner’s Mistake certainly serves as solid proof. (J F Norris)

Unfortunately his books are out of print and hard to find now at affordable prices.


(Source: Facsimile Dust Jackets LLC. Longmans, Green & Co. (UK), 1936)

The Poisoner’s Mistake has been reviewed at Pretty Sinister Books.

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