Through the columns of the Guardian women's page, edited by the late Mary Stott, Judith Cook founded the anti-nuclear organisation Voice of Women after the Cuban missile crisis of 1962, when the world seemed on the verge of nuclear war and she was the mother of two young children.
From that first Guardian article, Judith received more than 2,000 letters from women responding to her call. She went to both Moscow and Washington with other campaigners to protest against nuclear weapons. Voice of Women grew in strength and influence, and Judith joined other anti-nuclear organisations demonstrating against the testing and proliferation of nuclear weapons throughout the 1960s.
Judith and her husband Douglas Cook, whom she married in 1952, had, by then, moved from the Essex suburbs to near Penzance, Cornwall. Together they produced a newsletter, and saw the organisation grow and strengthen. They had four children, and Judith continued to write for the Guardian women's page.
She also published books on JB Priestley and Daphne du Maurier; she was due to give a talk to the Du Maurier festival, in Fowey, Cornwall, the day before her death. Her most famous book was probably Who Killed Hilda Murrell? (1985), which led her into the dangerous waters of investigation by the police and the security services.
Murrell was a well known anti-nuclear campaigner, who was found dead in March 1984 near her Shrewsbury home, just before she was due to present a paper on the hazards of nuclear waste to the Sizewell-B nuclear power station inquiry. Her nephew was Commander Robert Green, who had served with naval intelligence during the Falklands war (he is now an anti-nuclear campaigner in New Zealand).
Judith wrote a second book about Murrell, linking her death to the Falklands war and the controversy surrounding the sinking of the Argentinian cruiser, the Genral Belgrano. Her play about the Murrell affair was presented at a number of small theatres, and at Stratford East, London.
Judith Cook was a prolific writer and produced many books, among them To Brave Every Danger (1993), the story of a deported highwaywoman who escaped in a small boat in the Pacific and was successfully defended by Boswell, and Price Of Freedom (1985), about access to information and medical records. There were also books about the dangers of poisonous chemicals and nuclear waste, the theatre, and a series of detective novels.
By the early 1970s, Judith and Douglas had separated, and she left Cornwall for full-time journalism, freelancing for the Guardian, among other papers. She once persuaded Harold Wilson to talk to her in the garden of his home on the Scilly Isles, after the news desk had asked her to find him during a difficult political period for Labour. She became features editor of the Birmingham Post, and then worked for Anglia Television, before injuries from a car crash forced her to stop.
Born in Manchester, the daughter of a mining engineer, Judith was brought up in a midlands village near Bosworth Field, and educated at Stretford grammar school for girls. She met her first husband, then a music student, while she was working as secretary to Sir John Barbarolli, conductor of the Hallé Orchestra, and they moved to London. She returned to Cornwall, and the fishing village of Newlyn, with Martin Green, whom she met in 1979.
She is survived by her four children, Gillian, Joanna, Simon and Nicholas.
· Judith Anne Cook, journalist and campaigner, born July 9 1933; died May 12 2004