Hugh Pentecost was a penname of mystery author Judson Philips. Born in Massachusetts, Philips came of age during the golden age of pulp magazines, and spent the 1930s writing suspense fiction and sports stories for a number of famous pulps. His first book was Hold 'Em Girls! The Intelligent Women's Guide to Men and Football (1936). In 1939, his crime story Cancelled in Red won the Red Badge prize, launching his career as a novelist. Philips went on to write nearly one hundred books over the next five decades.
His best-known characters were Pierre Chambrun, a sleuthing hotel manager who first appeared in The Cannibal Who Overate (1962), and the one-legged investigative reporter Peter Styles, introduced in Laughter Trap (1964). Although he spent his last years with failing vision and poor health, Philips continued writing daily. His final novel was the posthumously published Pattern for Terror (1989).