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The Mysterious Mr Quin (Agatha Christie Collection) Hardcover – 10 Jul 1997


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Collins Crime; (Reissue) edition (10 July 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0002315793
  • ISBN-13: 978-0002315791
  • Product Dimensions: 21.8 x 14.5 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (29 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,007,937 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Torquay in 1890, Agatha Christie began writing during the First World War and wrote over 100 novels, plays and short story collections. She was still writing to great acclaim until her death, and her books have now sold over a billion copies in English and another billion in over 100 foreign languages. Yet Agatha Christie was always a very private person, and though Hercule Poirot and Miss Marple became household names, the Queen of Crime was a complete enigma to all but her closest friends.

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Review

“The book offers a rare treat for discriminating readers.”
New York Times

From the Back Cover

So far, it had been a typical New Year’s Eve house party. But Mr Satterthwaite – a keen observer of human nature – sensed that the real drama of the evening was yet to unfold.

So it proved when a mysterious stranger arrived after midnight. Who was this Mr Quin? And why did his presence have such a pronounced effect on Eleanor Portal, the woman with the dyed-black hair?

--This text refers to the Audio Cassette edition.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Suzanne Moore VINE VOICE on 28 Feb 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is a series of fairly short stories about Agatha Christie's favourite characters, Quin and Satterthwaite. In these stories she combines the paranormal with the logical for a truly amazing combination.
Mr Harley Quin seems to be a man with the unnatural ability to make you see things from a totally different perspective and seems to be an advocate of the dead as wells as acting as cupid. Through the stories you go with a Mr Satterthwaite, a man who likes to observe life and loves watching little dramas unfold, who with little hints and nudges from Mr Quin solves a variety of different murders and mysteries with impressive skill and cunning.
As you read these stories Christie makes you see how by taking things you remember and looking at it from a different angle can give the whole thing new meaning.
I read these stories expecting the usually Agatha Christie style only to find them very different from her more famous stories, starring Hercule Poriot, Miss Marple, Tommy and Tuppence and others. Although different and a lot shorter than most of her work The Mysterious Mr Quin doesn't disappoint, they are very clever and entertaining stories.
This series of tales show just how much Agatha Christie deserved the title Queen of Crime. A must read Agatha Christie just so you can see her different styles.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By L. R. Fisher on 21 Mar 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Christie wrote these stories early in her career, only when she felt a plot had been "sent". In most of her books she is robustly skeptical, but these stories have a supernatural element. Mr Quin - Mr Harley Quin - is inclined to appear mysteriously whenever a mystery needs to be puzzled out. These don't all involve a corpse in the library, some involve theft, or suspicion. But they all involve parted lovers, and Mr Quin is a friend of lovers. He always says he does nothing to help, it's all down to his friend, the small, precise, elf-like, elderly Mr Satterthwaite, who manages to get everywhere because he dearly loves a title and likes to think he knows everybody who is anybody. He has a warm heart, though, and his interventions bring him into contact with a croupier (who turns out to have a soul), a medium (Christie has her usual fun with this character), some American tourists, an engineer, an actress and her entourage. The stories are also full of atmosphere and a sense of place and you feel you too are in a clifftop garden in Madeira (or is it Corsica?), a casino in the South of France, a formal garden in Le Touquet, a cafe in Kew Gardens. Having read the last story once, I can never read it again - it's too sad.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Chinatown Blue TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 15 July 2012
Format: Audio Download
As a fan of Poirot and Miss Marple I have recently begun to explore Agatha Christie's other works, such as her horror stories. I hadn't come across Mr Quin before, and it piqued my curiosity. I wasn't disappointed - in fact, quite the opposite. These stories are detective fiction laced with the supernatural, superbly written. The leading players, Mr Satterthwaite and Mr Quin, are creations to equal her more famous detectives, and I'm surprised they have been largely forgotten.

The audiobook set is read by Hugh Fraser, well known as Captain Hastings in the television Poirot. I have some of his readings of Poirot stories, but for me this set is where he really came into his own as a performer. There is no trace of Hastings in his gentle, elderly Satterthwaite, or his quiet and slightly sinister Quin. All the other characters are voiced with care and humour (his bossy duchess in The World's End conjures up Margaret Rutherford or Edith Evans, and had me chuckling whenever she 'appeared'). I was genuinely sorry when I reached the end of disc seven, and I have no doubt I'll be listening to these again and again.

The audiobook set contains seven discs in a sturdy box. The discs are stacked cakebox style, which I find annoying. But the cover design is rather nice, very apt for the period and totally in keeping with the harlequin theme. The stories in the set are The Coming of Mr Quin, The Shadow on the Glass, At the Bells and Motley, The Sign in the Sky, The Soul of the Croupier, The Man From the Sea, The Voice in the Dark, The Face of Helen, The Dead Harlequin, The Bird with the Broken Wings, The World's End and Harlequin's Lane. Longer stories have been split across discs, but the separation points have been well chosen and seven stories have not been split at all. Overall, I rate this as an excellent product.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Tom Ellis "Anselm" on 30 Oct 2009
Format: Paperback
if you enjoy people watching then this the book for you. It is all about interaction between people. Sometimes it ends in a death, sometimes it doesn't.

It is what happens between the characters that takes the stories forward.

It is also a fascinating insight into upper class in the 1930's.

Highly recommended.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By torch_light on 25 Jan 2007
Format: Hardcover
Agatha Christie always sighted the Mr Quin and Mr Statterthwaite stories as her favourites and returned to them simply out of love for the characters. Christie moved away from her usual motifs into the world of the apparantly supernatural with these titles.

Mr Statterthwaite inhabits the upper class world of the 1930's, imagine Counts and Countesses, caviar, Monaco, casinos, Country Houses, art galleries and round the world cruises.

He watches rather than plays a part in the lives of the people that he sees played out before his eyes but often meets the mysterious Mr Harley Quin when he leasts expects to. These meetings invariably lead to an 'approaching storm' that lends itself to Statterthwaite helping to right wrongs that have been perpertrated.

An amazing book of the most delicious short stories that have two brilliantly conceived characters 'solving' problems and mysteries borne out around them.

It is such a shame that she didn't wrote more of these stories.

Special mention to the story 'At the Bells and Motley'. A set-up that holds it's own against the best locked room mystery stories.

Highly recommended.
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