2008: 199. There is a Tide...

“In every club there is a club bore.   The Coronation Club was no exception; and the fact that an Air Raid was in progress made no difference to normal procedure.”

There is a Tide, Agatha Christie*

This is a Poirot mystery, set in the immediate post-war years, and while it is a pretty good mystery (a couple of murders, a young widow, a bunch of greedy relatives), what I liked best about it was the way it was really about post-war England, and how one could go and get back to life after having fought in the war.  Particularly when, in this case, the woman went off to war (Lynn Marchmont has spent the years in the WRENS, traveling the globe) and her lover stayed home (her fiance cousin, Rowley Cloade owned a farm and was made to stay behind as an essential personnel).  She isn’t sure whether she can settle down again with Rowley, after her adventures, and she is drawn to another man - a former fighter pilot named David Hunter, who is something of a rogue (but was a great pilot - this character is a common type in Christie novels).  The matter is complicated by the fact that Hunter is the brother of Rosaleen Cloade, a young widow who married Lynn’s rich uncle Gordon a mere three days before he died when a bomb hit his London home.  Gordon had always promised to take care of the Cloades (and they planned their lives accordingly), but because he died before he got to write a new will, everything went to Rosaleen.  The Cloade clan is furious, and when a rumor starts that Rosaleen’s first husband might just not be dead after all, well, tensions ratchet.  Is it any wonder that someone ends up dead? 

A lot going on here - this is one of her better more complex stories, and I enjoyed it much more than even I had remembered.  

*Perhaps the most interesting thing about this book is that when they gave it a new title for America or whatever, they changed it from Taken at the Flood to There is a Tide (as you can see, they seem to have changed it back).  But since both titles come from the same Shakespearian quote from Julius Caesar (“There is a tide in the affairs of men./Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune”) and it isn’t like one makes it much clearer or accessible to Americans (like changing 450 to Paddington to What Mrs McGuillicuddy Saw!).  How strange - what was the point?

Date/Place Completed: 11/27/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Agatha Christie Project

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017