The major patterns of British crime fiction continued after the Second World War as, for decades, Christie, Marsh, Wentworth and Mitchell produced on average a book a year and prewar newcomers like Cecil Hare and ‘Michael Innes’ (J. I. M. Stewart) maintained their recondite mysteries with legal and literary treatments respectively. There was also change. Sayers wrote no more crime fiction, apart from her unfinished mystery Thrones, Dominations (1998, completed by Jill Paton Walsh). Allingham was mostly sombre, as in the moody London thriller The Tiger in the Smoke (1952). Tey varied the classic form in the crime novel Brat Farrar (1949) and a historical mystery The Daughter of Time (1951). Carr produced only four Gideon Fell puzzles after 1950, focusing more on historical mysteries, though from 1944, in The Case of the Gilded Fly, his referential puzzle style was recreated by ‘Edmund Crispin’ (Bruce Montgomery). Michael Gilbert, another newcomer, also had a light touch — Symons calls him ‘an entertainer’ (1992: 233) — but most in this period struck a darker tone, like ‘Anthony Gilbert’ (in fact Lucy Malleson), who, having started with classic clue-puzzles as early as 1925, developed ‘a rather shocking addition of realism’ with her exploration of ‘woman’s powerlessness’ (Coward and Semple, 1989: 47), as in And Death Came Too (1956).
Swipe to navigate through the chapters of this book
Please log in to get access to this content
To get access to this content you need the following product:
- Continuity and Diversity
- Macmillan Education UK
- Sequence number
- Chapter number