TAKEN AT THE FLOOD (1948)
The entire extended family of Gordon Cloade has been dependent on him for all their extra funds. He has actually encouraged that practice as he has enjoyed managing all the family money. It’s a good arrangement with everyone up until just before his unexpected death. Gordon had taken a trip to New York where he married a young widow and changed his will. He was killed in a blitz while in a London Hotel.
When the widow and her lecherous brother arrive at the family home, they are not welcomed with open arms. When one of the sister-in-laws learns her first husband may be still alive, all hell breaks loose. Hercule Poirot is brought in to solve the case.
The final quote:
“There is a tide in the affairs of men which taken at the flood leads on to fortune. Yes, the tide sweeps in, but it may carry you out to sea.” -Hercule Poirot
CROOKED HOUSE (1949)
There was a crooked man
and he went a crooked mile. . . . .
And they all lived together
in a little crooked house.
Agatha Christie has based several of her mystery novels on children’s nursery rhymes. Its been fun to read them, but I must say I really loved this one! It’s one of her stand-alones. No Hercules Poirot or one of her other famous detectives. On top of that, there is a nice little love story running throughout.
Charles and Sophia met while oversees during the war. They fell in love, but agreed to wait on a decision about their future until they were both back in London. When Charles comes home he immediately meets Sophia for dinner and asked her to marry him. (Very romantic-sigh.)
While they are out someone murders Sophia’s grandfather, an elderly multi-millionaire who has definitely been the head of the family. Charles’ father is with the police so he asked Charles to hang out at the family house and keep his ears open. Everyone seems to like Sophia’s “young man” so they willingly share all sorts of information with him.
This strategy works and Charles was able to finally solve the case. It wasn’t the ending I had hoped for, but it did make sense. The plot twists were good. They kept me guessing to the end. I’m going to add this to my list of Agatha’s Favorites.