G. D. H. Cole and Margaret Cole contributed little that had an immediate impact on the mystery and detective genre. Although their thirty-odd full-length novels and several collections of short stories are well written, they are, on the surface, very conventional and often predictable. The writing of mysteries was for the Coles an avocation, an escape from a very active involvement in the academic, political, and economic life of Great Britain between the two world wars.
The Coles shared the task of writing, and while one might be responsible for the completion of a particular story, the other never failed to make suggestions or actual contributions to the narrative. The assumption on the part of some critics that their fiction contains few references to their political and economic thought betrays a superficial treatment of their work. Among the most prominent and outspoken socialist thinkers in modern England, the Coles infused their fictional works with ideas, experiences, and bias that give each novel or short story a special significance. Through their polished and often amusing prose, the mystery story becomes an unconscious vehicle for the dissemination of socialist dogma.