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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

versus
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 23 months ago by PHanson


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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!, 28 Feb. 2004
By 
Suzanne Moore "Suzanne" (England) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Audiobook review!, 15 July 2012
By 
Chinatown Blue "cthulhoid" (S-O-T, UK) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Unabridged) (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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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My favourite - and hers, 21 Mar. 2007
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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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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An absolute classic, 30 Oct. 2009
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Christie's favorite characters are mine as well., 8 Mar. 2012
By 
L. J. Roberts (Oakland, CA, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
As this is a collection of short stories, there is no one first sentence.
Mr. Satterthwaite, although 62 years old, is described as a dried-up man; views on age have changed over time. He is wealthy, loves the good things in life, definitively British and is a keen observer of people. The last attribute increases with each encounter with Mr. Harley Quinn.
Mr. Quinn is a gentleman of mystery: Is he real with supernatural powers, or Ms. Christie's very own, and very different version of Holmes. Quinn was, in fact, Ms. Christie's favorite character. In her autobiography, she describes him as "a friend of lovers and connected with death". She does allude to the classic Harlequin in "The Soul of the Croupier" when Satterthwaite expresses surprise seeing Quinn. Quinn responds "It should not surprise you," he said. "It is Carnival time. I am often here in Carnival time."
In general, I'm not a fan of short stories, but I find myself frequently re-reading these. I do love Satterthwaite's line of "I can put up with vulgarity, but I can't stand meanness." The stories have a slight supernatural quality to them, but always with a logical explanation possible, and certainly to the solutions of the crimes. I enjoyed Christie's perception of 1930s England as being multi-cultural and non-denominational, but wonder who true that was. What I most enjoy, however, is that each story stands alone and is intriguing and compelling on its own merit.

THE MYSTERIOUS MR. QUINN (Myst- Harley Quinn / Mr. Satterthwaite, England, 1930s) - Ex
Christie, Agatha - Standalone
Bantam, 1986
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Mysterious Mr Quin, 17 Feb. 2011
By 
mjr38a (Crowthorne, Berkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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I heard three short stories on the BBC about Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin and discovered that this book contained yet more of them including the denouement in the last story. I was intrigued to read the set of stories and wasn't disappointed. The last story is worth waiting for if you read the book sequentially.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Mr Statterthwaite and Mr Quin, 25 Jan. 2007
By 
torch_light (Norwich, England) - See all my reviews
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Twelve short stories, 8 July 2012
By 
Damaskcat (UK) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
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Mr Satterthwaite has an enquiring mind especially when it comes to crime - whether ancient or modern. He keeps encountering the mysterious Mr Quin whenever some sort of mystery comes to the fore. Human nature is something Mr Satterthwaite finds totally fascinating and because he has never married he feels he has had a better chance to observe and understand his fellow human beings. With the help of Mr Quin he manages to solve mysteries which at first sight seem incapable of resolution.

Provided you accept that Harley Quin may or may not be real these are charming stories. Some are darker than others and all have a great deal to say about the strange ways of human beings and the situations which their uncontrolled emotions propel them into. Thanks to Mr Quin's prompting Mr Satterthwaite is led to ask the right questions of the right people. Poignant, amusing and fascinating these well written stories make the reader think about life in general and perhaps about their own lives and things they have taken for granted.

If you're used to thinking of Agatha Christie in conjunction with Miss Marple or Hercule Poirot then give these stories a try for something just that little bit different.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Mr. Quin, 8 Sept. 2009
A Kid's Review
This tape was a great listen. I had to buy a tape player to learn a language that I had been given the tapes of, so decided to treat myself to a tape of stories. I really enjoy reading Agatha Christie, so the obvious choice was one of her stories, and this was a really great choice.
I am on the lookout for more of Agatha Christie's stories on tape, but they are not easy to find since everyone has gone over to CDs, but I am not going to give up. I will be scouring the charity shops for tapes, as they may get some in, although the ones I have tried so far say that they just put tapes in the bin now - what a waste!
If you want a good story and still have a tape player, I would thoroughly recommend this one.
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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
By 
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 amazon.com 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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