Raymond Postgate was born in Cambridge. A founding member of the British Communist Party in 1920, Postgate joined the staff of The Communist and soon became its editor. As such, he was one of Britain’s first left-wing former-communists. In the late 1920s and early 1930s he published his first novel, No Epitaph (1932), and worked as an editor for the Encyclopædia Britannica. In 1932 he visited the Soviet Union with a Fabian delegation and contributed to the collection Twelve Studies in Soviet Russia. Later in the 1930s he co-authored with G. D. H. Cole The Common People, a social history of Britain from the mid-18th century.
Postgate wrote several mystery novels that drew on his socialist beliefs to set crime, detection and punishment in a broader social and economic context. His most famous novel is Verdict of Twelve (1940), his other novels include Somebody at the Door (1943) and The Ledger Is Kept (1953). After the death of H. G. Wells, Postgate edited some revisions of the two-volume Outline of History that Wells had first published in 1920. Raymond Postgate died on 29 March 1971.