Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Christie November: The Mysterious Mr. Quin

First UK edition, from Wikipedia
One of my favorite Agatha Christie character pairs is the mysterious Mr. Harley Quin and the elderly Mr. Satterthwaite. When I was choosing stories to re-read this month, this was one of the first to come to mind. These twelve stories were as good as I remembered, with some of them being among Christie's best writing.

I have become more familiar lately with the Harlequin character, especially through my Neil Gaiman readings this fall. It lent a different perspective to my reading this time through. Mr. Quin shows up when there is a mystery to be solved or a fate to be changed and acts as a catalyst for the discovery or solution. Mr. Satterthwaite is his willing accomplice, someone who has lived his life on the outside-looking-in and is especially adept at seeing things that others do not. This book has a dozen stories that were all written separately and then collected later and published together in 1930.

For readers who are not fans of the typical Christie detective stories, these tales might be something different to try. They feature some of her best writing.

In awe of her mind,


  1. I think that I might have read this a very long time ago but have forgotten all about it. THis might sound silly but thats one of the things I love about Christie; if you read enough of them and leave enough of a gap between them you can almost always forget who did it and start again

  2. Wow. I (an avid Christie fan when I was a teenager) never even heard of these, but after Neil Gaiman's story, it seems I must give them a try. Thanks for bringing them to my attention.

  3. Becky - It's not silly at all. The same thing happens to me! I re-read many of her books every couple of years and don't remember a single thing from them!

    Emily - It's definitely a different view of the Harlequin character. There are a few stories that focus on love but it's not Mr. Quin's only interest.