The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Harley Quin Collection

The Mysterious Mr. Quin: A Harley Quin Collection

by Agatha Christie


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The inimitable Agatha Christie intrigues, surprises, and delights with The Mysterious Mr. Quin—a riveting collection of short stories centered around the enigmatic Harley Quin, whose unpredictable comings and goings are usually a good indication that something is about to happen…and rarely for the best.

It had been a typical New Year's Eve party. But as midnight approaches, Mr. Satterthwaite—a keen observer of human nature—senses that the real drama of the evening is yet to unfold. And so it proves when a mysterious stranger knocks on the door. Who is this Mr. Quin?

Mr. Satterthwaite's new friend is an enigma. He seems to appear and disappear almost like a trick of the light. In fact, the only consistent thing about him is that his presence is always an omen—sometimes good, but sometimes deadly. . . .

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780062074430
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 06/19/2012
Series: Harley Quin Mysteries Series , #1
Edition description: Reprint
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 156,708
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Agatha Christie is the most widely published author of all time, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her books have sold more than a billion copies in English and another billion in a hundred foreign languages. She died in 1976, after a prolific career spanning six decades.

Date of Birth:

September 15, 1890

Date of Death:

January 12, 1976

Place of Birth:

Torquay, Devon, England


Home schooling

What People are Saying About This

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Mysterious Mr. Quin 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 18 reviews.
thimblemom More than 1 year ago
I was surprised to find that this is a series of stories, each have the two main characters -- the storyteller and Mr. Quin. I found that it was perfect for a quick 20-30 minute read.
davidabrams on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The Un-DetectiveWho is Mr. Harley Quin? Better yet, what is Mr. Harley Quin? Is he a spirit? Is he flesh-and-blood? Is he a personification of the subconscious? Is he a splinter of God Himself?The title of Agatha Christie's 1930 collection of short stories says it all: The Mysterious Mr. Quin. The fellow is a profound enigma. In her Autobiography, Agatha claims Harley Quin was one of her favorite creations, then goes on to describe him thusly:Mr. Quin was a figure who just entered into a story¿a catalyst, no more¿his mere presence affected human beings. There would be some little fact, some apparently irrelevant phrase, to point him out for what he was: a man shown in a harlequin-coloured light that fell on him through a glass window; a sudden appearance or disappearance. Always he stood for the same things: he was a friend of lovers, and connected with death.You never quite know when or how he's going to turn up. He may materialize at the edge of a cliff ("He might have sprung from the surrounding landscape") or in a previously-unoccupied train compartment ("Mr. Satterthwaite awoke from a doze to find a tall dark man sitting opposite to him in the railway carriage. He was not altogether surprised."). Yes, there's the obvious play on his name and Quin is often cast in the aura of a harlequin at some point in the stories. Here's a typical appearance, from "The Sign in the Sky":Still thoughtful, Mr. Satterthwaite turned into the Arlecchino and made for his favorite table in a recess in the far corner. Owing to the twilight before mentioned, it was not until he was quite close to it that he saw it was already occupied by a tall dark man who sat with his face in shadow, and with a play of color from a stained window turning his sober garb to a kind of riotous motley.He's a sort of un-detective who prompts others to solve crimes. His role as catalytic converter usually begins when he makes a random appearance in the life of Mr. Satterthwaite. And who, exactly, is Mr. Satterthwaite? Well, that question is much easier to answer.In his late 60s, he's a connoisseur of the arts (translation: "a culture snob"), an amateur photographer, and the author of a book called Homes of My Friends. He's fussy and cranky; he's "sentimental and Victorian;" his judgment of others is often scathing: Her name seemed to be Doris and she was the type of young woman Mr. Satterthwaite most disliked. She had, he considered, no artistic justification for existence.Ouch.In "The Shadow on the Glass," we read that "Mr. Satterthwaite was abnormally interested in the comedies and tragedies of his fellow men." His investigations into murders, thefts and disappearances mainly consist of him being at the right place at the right time and adhering to a "fly on the wall" philosophy. Later in "The Shadow on the Glass," we're told "He seemed to matter so little, to have so negative a personality. He was merely a glorified listener."Above all, Mr. Satterthwaite is a most entertaining tour guide as he leads us through the stories in The Mysterious Mr. Quin. These dozen tales are fueled by the dynamic strength of his character. Frankly, the mysteries themselves are rather blasé; what's most fascinating is how Mr. Satterthwaite gets entangled in them and his childlike excitement at playing a major role in solving them.The vast majority of the crimes in The Mysterious Mr. Quin have already taken place off-stage (or off-page, if you will) and it's up to the corporeal-spiritual team of Quin and Satterthwaite to dredge up old mysteries and to open the closet and rattle a few skeletons. You have to pay attention and read each story in one sitting in order to grasp all the clues and characters Agatha throws at you in the small space of twenty pages. Because they are so condensed, these stories don't have time to leisurely acquaint us with the facts; they move with the swift crackle of l
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you are looking for typical Poirot or Marple style short stories, this collection is not for you. These mysterious tales have a mystical, fey quality to them. They all involve Mr. Satterthwaite. He's a character 1st introduced in Christie's Poirot mysteries. He's an older, wealthy bachelor who has been, more, a keen observer of people and life than a person who has done a lot of living. While very social, savvy, and kind, he has never had any major heart breaks or love affairs. In each of these stories, he meets the mysterious Mr. Harley Quin. Satterthwaite soon learns whenever Mr. Quin appears, tragedy/drama involving love/loss has occurred, is likely to occur, or both. If you are familiar with the Italian tale of Harlequin and Columbine, then these tales have a little more depth of meaning. Even if you're unfamiliar with it, these are interesting little shorts.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A collection of short stories with Mr. Quin as the main character and puzzle solver. A bit of magic, maybe, but a lot of good stories and interesting people.
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Jennifer Stockdale More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
A rarity--a clunker from Dame Christie! I've happily devoured dozens of her books, soaking up the European atmospheres, marvelling at every neat plot twist & turn, chuckling at her sly sense of humor, appreciating her keen intelligence and unique ability to absorb me completely into the worlds she's created. In this case, I kept hoping that either Mr. Quin or Mr. Satterthwaite or any character would pique my interest in some way. No luck. Snoozeville! Perhaps Ms. Christie Mallowan should have stuck to the long form. This is the first collection of short stories of hers I've read, though -- can anyone recommend any good ones of hers to read? Most appreciated.
BOOKMANRC More than 1 year ago