When I wrote about the Labour landslide victory in 1945 it was pointed out to me, inter alia, that the Golden Age Detective (GAD) writers did not like the victory or the country it created. They certainly did not. Let me just mention a few.

Cyril Hare's post-war novels are full of sad nostalgia and his non-series book, An English Murder, published in 1951 is not just nostalgic and unhappy but shows real anger towards socialist politicians and their destructive actions. Agatha Christie largely took the changes in her stride and carefully adjusted her description of middle class life (unlike Margery Allingham or Ngaio Marsh, for example, who still produced examples of country houses with grandes dames in them) but even she made disdainful comments.

In Mrs McGinty's Dead (1952) there is a sad acceptance that the government is always sending your forms that you need to fill in, a theme that is repeated in other novels. In A Murder Is Announced (1950), one of Christie's best, there is a clear indication that everybody is involved in the black market because it is the only way to survive. When Inspector Craddock chides the vicar's wife with it being against the law, she spiritedly replies that there should not be such silly laws.

The dislike for the controls, the shortages and, especially, the bureaucracy that seems to have flourished in the war and continued to do so afterwards runs through many novels of the period, such as Michael Gilbert's Smallbone Deceased (1950).

In Duplicate Death (1951) Georgette Heyer makes cutting remarks about the destructively high taxation that makes life difficult for people who want to lead a middle class life.

One could go on listing novels and, perhaps, quoting from letters for a while but, undoubtedly, the situation was most devastatingly summed up by John Dickson Carr in a letter to Frederic Dannay (one half of Ellery Queen) in mid-1946, as quoted in Douglas G. Greene's biography:

The regulations in this country grow more and more damnable. One more war for liberty and we shall all be slaves. 
I suspect very many people felt the same way though they might not have been able to express their feelings quite so pithily.


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