Geoffrey Boscobell

Created by Cecil M. Wills

“Share your suspicions with Ex-Inspecor Boscobell”
–front cover tagline on 1st edition of Defeat of a Detective

When we first meet him, in Author in Distress (1934), DETECTIVE INSPECTOR GEOFFREY BOSCOBELL is a rising star in Scotland Yard, his boyish demeanor and easy-going facade never quite hiding a shrewd and cunning mind. People must have noticed, though, because by The Murder of the Chamois (1935), he was a superintendent.

But it all came tumbling down about a few books later, when his wife and son were abducted and went missing, and suspicion pointed to a criminal gang the young inspector had run afoul of. Completely devastated, he resigned from the Yard, and set himself up as a private investigator, in a series of books by Maitland Cecil Melville Wills.

Wills was born in Bristol, and educated at Charterhouse and Manchester University, and served as a captain in the British Army during the First World War. He began writing in the thirties, and worked  for the War Office during World War II. He published more than twenty-five detective novels, in all, including three books featuring  Superintendent Roger Ellerdine (and his Detective Sergeant “Cherry” Blossom), who had appeared earlier in the Boscobell books and who appeared in thes–a sneaky way for Wills to ensure a smooth transition between the two series.


  • “Wills’s books are pedestrian two-man investigations in the tradition of George Bellairs.”
    — gadetection
  • “Another generally competent product of the Golden Age…”
    –Allen J. Hubin on Fatal Accident


  • Author in Distress (1934; aka “Number 18) | Buy this book 
  • Death at the Pelican (1934)
  • “Death Treads…” (1935)
  • The Chamois Murder (1935)
  • Then Came the Police (1935)
  • Fatal Accident (1936) | Buy this book 
  • Defeat of a Detective (1936) | Buy this book 
  • On the Night in Question (1937)
  • A Body in the Dawn (1938)
  • The Case of the Calabar Bean (1939
  • The Case of the R.E. Pipe (1940; Superintendent Roger Ellerdine)
  • The Clue of the Lost Hour (1949; Superintendent Roger Ellerdine)
  • The Clue of the Golden Ear-Ring (1950; Superintendent Roger Ellerdine)
Respectfully submitted by Kevin Burton Smith.

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