It is my sense that either Tobit or 1 Esdras was the first book of the Apocrypha to be written (1 Esdras is actually not considered Scripture by the Roman Catholics, although it is by the Orthodox tradition).
The circumstances behind the creation of 1 Esdras are unknown, although I find attractive the idea that it may have been some form of early, abbreviated translation into Greek of the end of 2 Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah. For those of you who aren't acquainted with this book, it is basically a Reader's Digest version of Ezra and Nehemiah that has survived because of an extra story about Zerubbabel in Persia, a contest among body guards about what the greatest thing is. By and large it is a straight translation (with a little rearrangement) of the end of 2 Chronicles, the bulk of Ezra, and a brief extract from Nehemiah.
So this dates 1 Esdras at the earliest to the second century BC or perhaps even later when the Writings portion of the Jewish Scriptures were being translated into Greek. Like Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah, 1 Esdras has no mention of the afterlife. The addition of the story of the three bodyguards does not include any such mention.
Tobit was written in either Hebrew or Aramaic (Aramaic fragments dating to about 100BC have been discovered at Qumran). It gives us no indication of the Maccabean crisis, so was probably written before 167 BC. I believe it the earliest book of the Apocrypha and would date it to the third century BC (200's).
While Tobit places an emphasis on the importance of burying the dead (cf. Antigone), it is doubtful that it envisages any substantial life after death. It rather seems somewhat "Greek" in its conceptions.
Thus Tobit 5:10 (does not survive in the five Qumran fragments, so the following is from the Greek of Sinaiticus, the longer version of Tobit generally thought to be more original. The manuscripts Vaticanus and Alexandrinus to not have the majority of this verse). This is Tobit speaking to the angel Raphael, although he doesn't know it's Raphael.
"I lie in the darkness as the dead who no longer behold the light."
Although Tobit is not entirely consistent, the book has a roughly "deuteronomistic" conception of justice: "Those who practice truth will be prospered in their works" (4:6: Aleph, B and A are similar)... "almsgiving saves from death and by it one does not enter into the darkness" (4:10: B and A, Aleph has a lacuna here).
Another relevant comment is made in 3:6, where one Hebrew fragment of Qumran preserves the word aleph-pe-resh, "dust." The Greek reads, "command my breath [pneuma] from me so that I may be released from the face of the earth and I might become earth... release me into the eternal place" (Aleph, B and A agree). Overtones of Job in this passage. Eternal place here probably does not mean heaven, for Tobit knows nothing of it. It seems a metaphor for the end of conscious existence.
There is nothing in the above passages to lead us to believe that Tobit believes in a personal, conscious afterlife. The emphasis of Tobit on the burial of the dead could suggest some mindless lack of peace in the underworld if one is not buried, but this idea is nowhere articulated. It is equally possible that it is a matter of shame--how shameful to allow a person's dead body to lie unburied and what a shame to you for your parents or kin to lie unburied. By constrast, how honorable to bury the dead. When the honor shame dimension is taken into account, the burial of the dead element does not clearly point to any real conception of the afterlife.
The biggest candidate for a reference to the afterlife appears in 13:2 (Greek texts mostly agree):
"Blessed be the living God forever and His kingdom, for he afflicts and shows mercy. He takes down to Hades below the earth and He himself leads up from the great destruction."
This passage actually appears in one Qumran fragment (4Q200) in which the reference is to Sheol and mention is made in the next verse to the "deep" (tehom). In my opinion, however, this passage is like I see Isaiah 26. The idea of coming back from the dead is a metaphor for the return of Israel from the "dead" as a nation. It is a resurrection of the nation rather than of individuals. In my opinion, imagery of this sort may very well have served as the seeds of later, personal understandings of resurrection. In any case, the verses right before and after point toward this interpretation. It is only because we have resurrection so firmly ingrained in our worldview that we would think this verse is about personal resurrection. The image of return from the dead here seems once again reflective of Greek myths such as those relating to Orpheus or Hercules. I would therefore date Tobit to the Hellenistic era.
Thus, if these interpretations are correct, then neither Tobit nor 1 Esdras reflect any belief in the afterlife. Tobit seems not to hold to a personal, conscious afterlife, while 1 Esdras simply makes no comment on the subject.