5.0 out of 5 stars Christie's favorite characters are mine as well.
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...
Published 21 months ago by L. J. Roberts
3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read
The door is blown open during a wintery storm and a mysterious man enters the room. A handsome young tennis player called bimbo. In the parlor of an country manor house, a group of English ladies and gents discuss whodunit. Clichés! All clichés! I was astounded that the master of the craft would resort to these methods; until I realized that Agatha Christie...
Published 15 months ago by Murray
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3.0 out of 5 stars A Good Read,
This review is from: The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Paperback)The door is blown open during a wintery storm and a mysterious man enters the room. A handsome young tennis player called bimbo. In the parlor of an country manor house, a group of English ladies and gents discuss whodunit. Clichés! All clichés! I was astounded that the master of the craft would resort to these methods; until I realized that Agatha Christie probably invented them. When The Mysterious Mr. Quin was written in 1930 these imagines were not clichés, but word craft at its finest.
Being newish to the author I did not recognize a master until I had journeyed into the story and discovered a good read. Actually, the book is a collection of short stories that are held together by the central character Mr. Satterthwaite; a voyeur of life, who is in every story. And also by the mysterious Mr. Quin, who is also known as Harley, Harley Quin, and Harlequin, and goes unexplained. The former is a watcher of life, and observes the people around him. The latter is a man who just happens to show up and helps to solve or prevent murders. The former gets allot of character development throughout all the stories, and the latter remains mysterious until the grand finally.
One aspect of this book that caught me was the fact that as the stories progressed, so did my interest. And it is interesting that this aspect was portrayed in Mr. Satterthwaite; he anticipated meeting up with Mr. Quin for the excitement that was sure to follow. Another aspect of the book that caught my attention was the use of words that sent me running to the thesaurus. Mysterious words like jimjams, gimcrack, came into the light, but the word that really puzzled me was ongtray. This word even baffled the all mighty Google!
I chanced upon this book by the "Queen of Crime' and found it to be entertaining. For a first read by this author, this story, gave me the feel of Agatha Christie and her style. I am looking forward to reading some Christie's classics and learning more about the mother of murder mysteries.
5.0 out of 5 stars Christie's favorite characters are mine as well.,
This review is from: Mysterious Mr Quin (Hardcover)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
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite quite average,
This is no reflection on her ability to write them, it is simply ebcause of the fact that i personally do not like short stories, normally.
the short stories here, compared with most, are actually quite good, i would suspect. Harley Quinn is a good character, but he sometimes annoys me. Far more entertaining is the brilliant Mr Satterthwaite (who we see again in the marvellous "Three Act Tragedy") who is one of Christie's great characters. He is calm, understated, interesting, clever. And very likeable.
The characters in this collection are well drawn, and the concept of a mysteriious man such as Quinn appearing almost out of nowhere to guide Satterthwaite in the solving mysteries is a very original, mysterious one, which does work well.
Overall, for a short story collection, this is very very good. but for a book by Agatha christie, it's rather average.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A book dedicated to Harlequin, the Invisible,
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...
3.0 out of 5 stars A satisfying short story collection with an eerie twist,
5.0 out of 5 stars Christie's Enigmatic Sleuth Stars in Volume of Short Stories,
This book is notable for the appearance of Mr. Satterthwaite, the means by which Mr. Quin makes his riveting revelations. They are reminiscent of other famous duos like Holmes and Watson or Poirot and Hastings as they work together and solve crimes with an uncanny accuracy.
So if you need a little passion, blackmail, and murder in your life, pick up this volume of fascinating short stories.
5.0 out of 5 stars haunting and worthwhile,
5.0 out of 5 stars Very different from Christie's usual short story collection,
5.0 out of 5 stars Unusual Christie Work,
By A Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars a very unique read!,
By A Customer
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The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie (Paperback - June 11 2012)
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