A little formality in a novel from the 1950’s reminds Dalrymple of how times have changed:
Throughout the book, Grant addresses Carradine as Brent, and Brent addresses Inspector Grant as Mr Grant. This was all perfectly natural at the time, though their relations were very friendly.
I lived through the great transition. I remember when my best friend’s mother asked me to call her by her first name. I found it not only impossible to do so, but that I could not even think of her by her first name. Many years after her death I cannot remember her first name. For me she is and will always be Mrs …….