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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A different type of Agatha Christie!
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...
Published on 28 Feb 2004 by Suzanne Moore

3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting and 'out of joint'
An interesting set of short stories, with similar themes. I wondered how many of them were written around the time of Christie's disappearance and breakdown of her first marriage given that there are some unhappy, suicidal, women to be found here. Each of the stories is 'out of joint' somehow - there's something queasy-making about them all, as if the walls aren't plumb...
Published 16 months ago by PHanson

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book dedicated to Harlequin, the Invisible, 20 April 2002
Michele L. Worley (Kingdom of the Mouse, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Mysterious Mr Quin (Paperback)
This book contains most, but not all, of the adventures of Mr. Satterthwaite and Mr. Quin. (See my listmania list on for a complete list). Mr. Satterthwaite is an elderly bachelor whom life has passed by - a spectator in other people's lives - but like Miss Marple, he's grown very perceptive.
Mr. Quin - Mr. Harley Quin - is a vaguely supernatural figure, associated with the immortal Harlequin, whose appearance in Satterthwaite's life presages adventure. Generally he appears as an advocate for the dead, and always as a catalyst: Satterthwaite does most of the reasoning, prompted by Quin. His theory is that one is more likely to solve a mystery after enough time has elapsed to put events in perspective. His gift for inspiring Satterthwaite lies in guiding him to ask the right questions.
"The Coming of Mr. Quin" - Mr. Quin appears after midnight on New Year's Eve, speaking of a breakdown that his chauffeur will shortly put right; Satterthwaite is among the guests of the house party who have stayed up. Quin guides the conversation to the mysterious suicide of Derek Capel, which happened 10 years ago in the same house. He contradicts the theory that nobody will ever know why Capel did it.
"The Shadow on the Glass" - If Satterthwaite consents to stay in a new-money household (he's a snob), it's a sign that the cooking is very good, or that something interesting will happen. He's currently staying with the Unkertons, who have bought a house with a romantic ghost story - a haunted window - and who have a genius for inviting trouble. In this case, they've invited a group of empire-builder-type hunters: Iris Staverton, Richard Scott and his new bride, and Scott's best-friend, who's been second fiddle all his life. Tactless, since Iris and Richard once had a very public relationship.
"At the Bells and Motley" - When the 3rd flat tire of the day strands Satterthwaite and his chauffeur 40 miles from their destination, the chauffeur soothes his employer's ruffled temper by suggesting that he go to the nearby inn - the Bells and Motley - to telephone his host, get something to eat, and maybe stay the night. Satterthwaite cheers up considerably to find Quin as a fellow-guest, and to be reminded that this little town was recently the scene of a nine-days wonder: a newlywed man, with a rich, lovely young wife, who mysteriously vanished.
"The Sign in the Sky" - Satterthwaite, having just seen young Martin Wylde convicted of the murder of Vivien Barnaby (a married woman he was leaving upon his engagement), and suspecting that he's innocent, seeks out a favourite restaurant, catering to jaded gourmets: the Arlecchino. Where, of course, he joins Mr. Quin at table to discuss the case.
"The Soul of the Croupier" - Satterthwaite, on his annual trip to Monte Carlo, notes that few of the glamourous nobility attend anymore - except the Countess Czarnova, and even she is seen less with great men these days than the nouveau riche.
"The World's End" - Satterthwaite's snobbery works against him here: the Duchess of Leith (one of those wealthy people who still clip coupons), complaining about her hotel bill, persuades him to accompany her to Corsica rather than the comforts of the Riviera.
"The Voice in the Dark" - Lady Stranleigh represents the triumph of Art over Nature - she's been married four times, has a grown daughter, and is a contemporary of Satterthwaite's, but maintains the illusion of a youthful appearance. Her daughter Margery is almost a cuckoo's egg - very practical and conventional. Then Lady Stranleigh seems to show signs of occasional bouts of 'food poisoning'...who is acting a part for whom?
"The Face of Helen" - Satterthwaite encounters a woman with the calamitous magic of the great beauties of history - but the outlook of a respectable middle-class girl. (Christie has employed variations on this kind of character several times: Elsie Holland in _The Moving Finger_ and Mrs. Liedner in _Murder in Mesopotamia_, to name two extremes.)
"The Dead Harlequin" - Satterthwaite sees a beautiful painting at an exhibition of a young artist's work, in which a dead Harlequin lies on the floor of the Terrace at Charnley, which Satterthwaite knows well, and a living one looks in at the window. He buys it and invites the painter to dinner - and not only does the talk turn to a mysterious suicide that occurred at Charnley years ago, but two women ring up, asking to buy the painting from Satterthwaite.
"The Bird with the Broken Wing" - One of Satterthwaite's fellow guests at the house party at Laidell is Mabelle Annesley - who was born a Clydesley, noted as being a family that disaster has struck again and again: one sibling committed suicide, another drowned, and still another died in an earthquake. Is someone trying to make a clean sweep?
"The Man from the Sea" - Satterthwaite, visiting a new place rather than the Riviera, meets a man who seems young, to him: Anthony Cosdon, approaching 50, a bachelor who has lived a careless but contented life - and whose doctor has delivered his death sentence. But Satterthwaite and Quin aren't inclined to let him take his own life, because, of course, there's something Cosdon hasn't thought of...
"Harlequin's Lane" - Satterthwaite stays with the Denmans every now and again, even though they seem to be very dull Philistines, because nevertheless something about them puzzles him very much. Then Satterthwaite finds that Quin is a fellow guest...
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars HaleyQuin aids, 23 May 2008
A.K.Farrar "AKF" (Timisoara, Romania) - See all my reviews
Strange book this one - not at all what you expect from Ms Christie.

Twelve short stories - all featuring Mr Satterthwaite,; snob, elderly English Gentleman and knower of anyone who is 'Anyone': An observer of people - and friend to Mr Quin. The later character was apparently Ms Christie's favourite and originated in her book of poems, 'The Road of Dreams'.

In the first story, The Coming of Mr Quin, we meet the pair - and they meet for the first time. It is a basic 'crime' with a wrongful suspicion hanging over the head of one of the characters - Slaterthwaite, with the prompting of Quin, resolves the situation through observation the clarity distance in time brings.

And that is basically the model for the rest of the collection.

Sometimes, as in the second story, The Shadow on the Glass, there is a good murder - and twisty end; sometimes there is only an echo of a crime and the story is more about resolution: The Soul of the Croupier, for example.

I read them in short succession and found them to be a little too much - I think dipping in to one of the stories and having a break between might be a much better way of treating the material. Individual I found them to be well written and quite satisfying.

Love features strong. I am tempted to suggest they are in fact love stories dressed up as something else.

There is a mysticism and vaguely religious air to them - Mr Harley Quin, by the final chapter, has become less and less of human and more and more of a wish fulfilment. There is also a sting in the tail.

I enjoyed them - and will return, but one at a time, with a healthy dose of murder and detectives in between each one.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mysterious Mr Quin, 30 Oct 2013
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most of the short stories are very good, however still a little disappointed, especially with the final story - a bit too dated to survive well
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Too Quick Fire 'Crime' Resolution, 22 April 2013
I've enjoyed other non Poirot and Mrs Marble novels from Agatha Christie and while this was an interesting set up it didn't really grab my attention.

Mr Satterthwaite is a gentlemen bachelor of leisure in his 60's in the 1930's that enjoys the arts and polite society with a particular interest in people. We start off with a get together at a country house that harks back to a suicide sometime ago. The mysterious Mr Quin arrives as a result of a broken down car and opens discussions on the suicide and puts the cat amongst the pigeons regarding it but does not bring it to a conclusion.

Through the rest of the book we then have a series of incidents where Mr Satterthwaite insight to people solve's problems piqued through the catalystic appearance by Mr Quin. They become friends but it's a bit odd how his mystery is allow to remain and that his convenient appearance and acceptance are not probed.

For me I enjoyed the Satterthwaite character but all the different events were a bit quick fire and felt under done. May be this was Christie rather than wanting to feast on one event trying a style where the she devoured many at a fast pace. However for me it was rather disjointed with not enough attention paid to each canope.
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0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 7 Feb 2012
Una (Aberdeen, Scotland) - See all my reviews
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The Mr Quin series of short stories are lass well known than most Agatha Christie tales but they are wonderfully written by that great author. If you haven't read them you must and if you have you will find this an ideal way to read them again.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Bought as a present, so no real feedback available., 18 April 2012
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This review is from: The Mysterious Mr Quin (Agatha Christie Facsimile Edtn) (Hardcover)
This was a present and we have not heard anything about it. However, it's unlikely to be anything but good from this writer.
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The Mysterious Mr Quin (Agatha Christie Facsimile Edtn)
The Mysterious Mr Quin (Agatha Christie Facsimile Edtn) by Agatha Christie (Hardcover - 5 Aug 2010)
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