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The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories (Hercule Poirot)

3.76  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,249 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
Agrand treasure for fans of the grande dame of mystery, The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories brings together nine rare and brilliant Christie tales of murder and detection that span nearly half a century of her storytelling genius.

In "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," Hercule Poirot unravels the psychological conundrums that motivate a killer. . . . In "The Actress," a
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ebook, 240 pages
Published August 7th 2012 by William Morrow Paperbacks (first published April 14th 1997)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maria D'Isidoro
Okay, I think I get what the fuss is about Agatha Christie now. Hint: the fuss is totally earned.

The Harlequin Tea Set is a collection of rarely published, thematically wide ranging stories. There are, of course, the murder mysteries which she's so famous for, including a story about her famous detective Poirot, The Spanish Chest. But there are also stories which edge into the domain of the supernatural and ephemeral, where some cosmic force is helping move things along to aid or bring justice t
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Greg Z
Jul 13, 2016 Greg Z rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
A varied mix of genres, and of mixed quality. The title story is a beauty, easily one of Christie's best short stories. Unfortunately, "Manx Gold" is a senseless scavenger hunt: a mess of a story. There is even an odd foreword and afterword by Tony Medawar that only adds to the confusion. "The Lonely God" is a simple romantic story: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, then there is a surprise twist. "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest" is typical Christie, a satisfying murder mystery. I must say that ...more
Sasha Bell
Jan 01, 2015 Sasha Bell rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'll give each story a short rating:

The Edge - 5
This story was my favourite. It has a lot of character development and self-discovery and plot twists, and an unexpected ending. It also moved quickly, and had characters reveal information without any pretense, which was great because sometimes Agatha Christie's stories drag on.

The Actress - 4
This story was clever and entertaining, but I had to read it twice to understand what had happened. I didn't think what happened was explained very well, bu
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Amanda
I really liked some of these stories, particularly "The House of Dreams". This story was really rather sad, not a mystery but a sort of unrequited tragic love story. John and Allegra have a connection, but Allegra is tormented by a "monster" - John recognizes this sleeping monster in her, but never stops to consider why he can recognize this Thing, and is continually haunted by his beautiful house of dreams. "The Lonely God" is a really sweet love story, I feel bad for the god though, I hope his ...more
Z Coonen
Three stars for this mixed bag of Christie short stories. Most stories will curl your toes just through her prose alone, whether the topic is murder or love. All have twists and turns, taking the reader to unexpected realms.

The opening story, The Edge, is a great unsettler. The final story, the Harlequin Tea Set, leans toward tradition with an air of mystery about it, but certainly is not the typical murder mystery. In between are seven other stories that vary in length and quality. The worst i
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Steve
Mar 31, 2016 Steve rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery
Nine short stories: The Edge, The Actress, While the Light Lasts, The House of Dreams, The Lonely God, Manx Gold, Within a Wall, The Mystery of the Spanish Chest (Hercule Poirot), and The Harlequin Tea Set (Harley Quin). I enjoyed the mysteries in this collection the most but the stories such as While the Light Lasts, The House of Dreams and The Lonely God, and Within a Wall that deal with love, lost or unobtainable, and personal ambition were also enjoyable. The Edge grabbed me and pulled me in ...more
Serena
Apr 21, 2016 Serena rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: anthology, mystery
4.8 stars

the Edge *****
the Actress *****
While the Light Lasts *****
the House of Dreams *****
the Lonely God *****
Manx Gold *****
Within a Wall *****
Hercule Poirot] the Mystery of the Spanish Chest ***
Harley Quin] the Harlequin Tea Set *****

My Rating System:
* couldn't finish, ** wouldn't recommend, *** would recommend, **** would read again, ***** have read again
Katarina
Apr 20, 2015 Katarina rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I wouldn't call this a collection of mysteries. Some of the stories were. Others were more focused on unusual, dark thought processes. I liked the mysteries best, generally speaking. The final story, from which the book takes its title, would've been more enjoyable had I read The Mysterious Mr. Quin more recently, as I barely remembered the characters or events, and the first part of the story featured vague reflections on them.

I think my favorite story was "Manx Gold", written as a scavenger h
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Trudy Pomerantz
Dec 23, 2014 Trudy Pomerantz rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
It is always so hard to give a rating to an anthology since some of the short stories tend to be better than others.

The Edge - I always love this type of book when Agatha Christie exposes a characters' pride - and thus makes a comment on the pride of all mankind.

The Actress - not one of my favourite

While the Life Lasts - more on keeping with The Edge examining the permanency and unexpected effects of our decisions.

The House of Dreams - creepy examination of madness

The Lonely God - ok

The Manx Gol
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Stella
Back in my high school days I enjoyed short stories. Nowadays, I tend to avoid them. I get invested in the characters and then they are gone.

I did enjoy Ms. Christie's stories though. At first I thought they all had unhappy endings, but as I examined them, I realized not. The Lonely Little God had a happy ending and I never suspected the surprise. The Actress was also very good. But the best, though very mysterious and unlike the other stories, had to be The Harlequin Tea Set itself. It seemed
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Vladimir
Hideously written, but still readable with few good ideas should you ever need one to get rid of someone.
Emily
3.5 stars.
Elvis Rodrigues
Feb 29, 2016 Elvis Rodrigues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: agatha-christie, 2016
E mais uma coletânea de contos da Dama do Crime. Dos nove, eu só havia lido dois, então foram sete inéditos, dos quais um inesperado com nossos amigos Sr. Quin e Sr. Satterthwaite. Eu pensei que eles haviam ficado no passado e serviu de despedida para os dois personagens. Gosto muito de Satterthwaite e me senti feliz de revê-lo por breves momentos em um conto interessante.

Dos demais seis, dois são fraquinhos, um sobre uma atriz que mudou de nome e outro sobre uma caça ao tesouro, e os outros são
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Rebecca
A series of stories by Christie, most of them not mysteries at all but just general fiction. She explores themes of magical realism, love, failure, settling, temptation, weakness, dreams, and death, as well as a couple of basic murder/attempted murder mysteries.

'The Edge' is about a woman who lost her man to another woman, and how far she will go when she gets an edge on the other woman. 'The actress' is about an actress whose past catches up with her, but she's determined to use her skills to
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Abbey
THE HARLEQUIN TEA SET and other Stories, Agatha Christie
1997, Nine creepy/supernatural stories. All except the title story were first published in magazines in the 1920s and 1930s and most of them are very sweet and seem old-fashioned; The Harlequin Tea Set story was first published in 1971 and is also quite sweet, and definitely old-fashioned.

The collection HARLEQUIN TEA SET and other stories was only published in USA but except for the title story all the other stories were published in the U
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Timothy Tobolski
Jul 13, 2011 Timothy Tobolski rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
There's a reason I love short stories and anthologies. It's not that I don't have the attention span for longer novels; to me, a satisfying read is at least five hundred pages. But there's an entirely different mindset in creating a short story over a full-length novel. Authors are forced to be succinct, precise, economical of prose, all while keeping the readers' attention and moving the plot along at an almost break-neck speed.

This collection is the first time I've ever had the pleasure of rea
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Laurel Young
I was very pleased to get hold of a copy of this short story collection, which was not assembled until the 1990s and published in the UK (with one or two changes) as "While the Light Lasts and Other Stories". Most of the stories appeared in various magazines early in Dame Agatha's career, in the 1920's and '30s. Several, such as "The Edge" and "House of Dreams," are more in line with her Westmacott "romantic suspense" persona than mysteries per se, but still of interest to the true Christie-phil ...more
meeners
Nov 09, 2012 meeners rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, reread
i'm sure i must have read this sometime in the distant past, because i have read pretty much every agatha christie out there, but that's the nice thing about having a terrible memory - means you can reread mysteries and still have fun. many of these stories aren't mysteries, though; they're quick, sharp sketches of characters Writ Large in the classic christie style. it's strange, but i found myself missing poirot and marple. it's the detective who really unifies her sketches into something cohe ...more
Elizabeth
Aug 31, 2010 Elizabeth rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Can we please read some of these in English class?! I really think that a couple of these short stories would raise thoughtful and interesting discussions, and plus they're really great to read! My suggestions: "The Edge," which brings up the issue of guilt and morality, and "The House of Dreams" which is about demons of the mind and dreams (a story which I would particularly love to discuss with someone since I didn't really understand it). And one, to my glee, is a great Hercule Poirot mystery ...more
Melissa
Nov 23, 2014 Melissa rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, audiobook
This audiobook is a series of nine short stories by Agatha Christie including a Hercule Poirot story (The Mystery of the Spanish Chest). I loved listening to these stories especially because one of the narrators was Hugh Fraser. These stories are unique because they are not all mysteries. Some of the stories are supernatural and one is a sweet love story. It was fun to hear some of Christie's other styles of writing and her early works.
Whitney
Jun 24, 2015 Whitney rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
If I had to use one word to describe this set of short stories, it would be: supernatural. Christie toys with these themes in other works, but these short stories are all somewhat supernatural or unexplainable in some way. I liked them quite a bit, but I probably wouldn't recommend it for a person who hasn't read any other Christie novels.
Pam
Dec 08, 2014 Pam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
It has been a long time since I have read Agatha Christie, and this book did not fail me. It is a compendium of various short stories. I was surprised to find that so many of stories I would categorize as "thrillers" similar to Alfred Hitchcock rather than the mysteries I generally associate with Agatha Christie.
Georgene
Jul 18, 2016 Georgene rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It's not often any more that I find an Agatha Christie book I have not already read. But I did find this one, a collection of short stories written mostly in her early career with one written late in her career.

As usual, I found these stories to be interesting and entertaining.
Ruth Dahl
May 30, 2016 Ruth Dahl rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff.
Agatha Christie's writing style really lent itself to the short story format, and allowed her to play with some more fantastical/supernatural/foreshadowing elements than she did in her novels.
In the future I will be using 'The Edge' as a perfect example of foreshadowing.
Mary
Terrific collection of Christie's short stories, including one Poirot story (a reworked version of the Baghdad Chest mystery) and one involving the mysterious, possibly supernatural, Mr. Harley Quin. Some of these aren't mysteries, but all of them are great reading.
Andrea
This was an interesting little collection of interesting and, perhaps, slightly more literary stories than Christie’s usual. I really enjoyed the vicious little twist of “The Actress” and the “The Lonely Little God” was a sweet love story. I really enjoyed this.
Jennifer Girardin
Jun 11, 2015 Jennifer Girardin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Harlequin Teaset by Agatha Christie is a cozy collection of short stories with a focus on traditional English mysteries.
Light, easy to read, and somewhat old-fashioned, they make enjoyable reading when you need a quick Christie fix.
Hope
Mar 27, 2014 Hope rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Short story collection featuring some early Christies. You can see her experimenting with psychology and characterization here, although I found this a very dark collection and didn't read everything.
Meg
Apr 10, 2016 Meg rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I think this may be the best set of short stories I've ever read. There was one Poirot, but not the others. They were depending on the story twisted, creepy, intriguing, poignant, and sentimental.
Alaine
Oct 31, 2014 Alaine rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I much prefer a good Agatha Christie Mystery. The only real mystery was "The Spanish Chest" and I had read it in a previous compilation. I think I'll skip the romance stories Christie wrote under another name.
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Agatha Christie also wrote romance novels under the pseudonym Mary Westmacott, and was occasionally published under the name Agatha Christie Mallowan.

Agatha Christie is the best-selling author of all time. She wrote eighty crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and several other books. Her books have sold roughly four billion copies and have been translated into 45 languages. She is t
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More about Agatha Christie...

Other Books in the Series

Hercule Poirot (1 - 10 of 39 books)
  • The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot, #1)
  • The Murder on the Links (Hercule Poirot, #2)
  • Poirot Investigates (Hercule Poirot, #3)
  • The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)
  • The Big Four (Hercule Poirot, #5)
  • The Mystery of the Blue Train (Hercule Poirot, #6)
  • Black Coffee (Hercule Poirot, #7)
  • Peril at End House (Hercule Poirot, #8)
  • Lord Edgware Dies (Hercule Poirot, #9)
  • Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10)

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