Home » Book Review » Taken at the Flood (AKA There is a Tide)

Taken at the Flood (AKA There is a Tide)


by Agatha Christie

Published 1948

This particular Christie novel was a mixed bag for me.  The mystery wasn’t that great, in my opinion.  But, some of the characters were, if that makes any sense.

The background of this book is post-war.  People trying to settle back into life.  People readjusting to all the changes.  People relearning who they are and what they’re doing.  And that part of the book was, I think, excellent writing.  Lynn Marchmont has been in the war, in the Women’s Royal Navy Service, and now has returned to the small village where she grew up.  Her fiancee (since before the war), was exempt from service–he and his cousin owned a farm, and only one had to go; the cousin won (or lost, depending on your view) the draw, and went to war.  He was killed there.

So, the background story is about Lynn, trying to settle back into her life in this small village, after she’s seen the world and been all about.  And now she’s coming  home and marrying someone with whom she’s grown up, who never left, who doesn’t understand what she’s seen and where she’s been.  And in the midst of all of that, drop a handsome and dashing young stranger.

I enjoyed that story’s unwinding, and watching Lynn and Rowley (her fiancee) work through their misunderstandings.  But the mystery itself, and, in some ways, the very involvement of Hercule Poirot, seemed almost jarring.  Almost, this story could have just been written as a story about Lynne and Rowley, without any murder or mystery, and I would have liked it.

As a mystery, it was just pretty average, a 3/5.

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