In the year of that first publication he married Adelaide Cooper, with whom he had one daughter. After the war he managed the antiquarian books department of Charles Cubitt in Norwich. Four years later, in 1950, he established his own bookshop on Maddermarket in the city.
From 1955 until 1998 he published a Gently detective novel nearly every year. He retired to Brundall in Norfolk where he continued his interests in local history, natural history, and sailing.
In 2007 the BBC broadcast an adaptation of 'Gently Go Man' under the title George Gently. Two more stories, 'The Burning Man' (adapted from the book 'Gently Where the Roads Go') and 'Bomber's Moon' (adapted from the book of the same name), were broadcast by the BBC in July 2008. The role of George Gently is played by Martin Shaw. A second series (with the title expanded to "Inspector George Gently") was broadcast in 2009, a third in 2010, a fourth in 2011, a fifth in 2012 and a sixth scheduled for 2013. The series differs markedly from the books, being set in Northumberland and Durham rather than in Norfolk, and with different characters (other than the eponymous Gently).