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The Mysterious Mr. Quin

4.5 out of 5 stars 45 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Unknown Binding
  • ASIN: B000WTPU3Q
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (45 customer reviews)

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

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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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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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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By Damaskcat HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 July 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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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