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The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  1,766 ratings  ·  96 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 1991)
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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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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
Sasha Bell
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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Trudy Pomerantz
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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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
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
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
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
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.
Pam
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.
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.
Hope
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.
Alaine
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.
Eliana
My all time favorite mystery writer. Plots so clever, you can re-read novels and still not remember who ended up being the culprit. I've tried to read them all.
Leah R
It is really astonishing to see A.C.'s genius at characterisation and plotting packed into such a tiny space. What she pulls off in a novel, you might have thought, is only possible because she needs time and space to lay out all the red herrings- but no. She can compress it all into a few or as many words as she likes, with no regard for convention. I particularly liked the Spanish Chest- it had the same number of plot twists as one of her novels but in a fraction of the pagetime. Remarkable. I ...more
Vanessa Braganza
The true story of the Isle of Man Manx Gold treasure hunt of 1930 was cool, but my faves from this collection were the House of Dreams and Within a Wall
Jennifer
I love collections of short stories because the character and plot developments are straight to the point. I'm also a fan of Agatha Christie and this collection had such a nice array of stories.
Ruth
281 pages. Donated 2010 January.

What fun to read this collection of Agatha Christie short mysteries - The Edge, The Actress, While the Light Lasts, Mystery of the Spanish Chest, The Harlequin Tea Set.

A priceless treasure for collectors and fans, "The Harlequin Tea Set" brings together nine brilliant Christie stories that have remained long out of print--until now. Featuring beloved Christie detectives such as Hercule Poirot and Mr. Harley Quin, as well as new characters, these stories will charm
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Bibliophile
I picked up this collection of Christie's short stories for the Poirot, but a great many of the other stories were compelling reads as well. I'm looking forward to reading more of Christie's work in the near future.
Mckris10
This was one of the first Agatha Christie books that I have read in years, and I didn't realize when I picked it up that it was a collection of short stories. I liked the longer two of the nine stories, but the other seven were only all right. I probably wouldn't recommend this book to people who have never read Agatha Christie before, but it would probably be all right for people that have read her before. I want to get one of her longer books and see how I like those now. Over all not bad, but ...more
Margaret H.
Once again, we have here the inimitable Mr. Quin, and I am always a sucker for him. In addition, this short story collection holds a couple of my weird, psycological Christie favorites, key among them being "The House of Dreams" a really odd romance that involves an underling at a large company in love with the friend of his boss's daughter (who happens to be in love with him) and dreaming night after night of a perfect, peaceful white house with something terrifying lurking behind its shades. D ...more
Linda Gaines
I prefer her novels to the short stories.
Erin
Agatha Christie is such a romantic. I listened to these stories on audio & enjoyed them a lot. I especially liked the title story (& I think the author did too) about the somewhat mystical old man & his strange friend Harley Quinn. (I wonder how many other people used this name before Marvel comics turned it into the Joker's wack job devotee?)

At one point the protagonist is filled with a deep happiness, (hard to quote accurately without a hard copy) "It was as if all of these people
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Mom
The five stars are not for the stories, which range from 1 to 4 in my estimation. It is for the pure joy of finding Agatha Christie stories I haven't read more than 40 years after her death. Not only that but Mr Quinn appears for one last bow....I always loved the Mr Quinn stories. Only the Poirot story, the Spanish Chest was familiar to me. It was a visit with a friend I thought I would never see again and, as such, brought joy even when the dialogue left much to be desired. I am happy to have ...more
Bonita
This was a collection of stories I had not read in a long time, if ever. I like anything from Agatha Christie and was glad to find this.
Jenny
My favorite story was the one about the Spanish Chest - probably because it was the most traditional mystery of the nine stories and because it featured Hercule Poirot.

The other stories were interesting and I probably only enjoyed them (if enjoy is the right word) because I love Christie. This would NOT be a book for someone reading Christie for the first time - these are a little ... unusual, especially the one about the Isle of Man (which was probably better enjoyed at the time it was written
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Elizabeth Webber
These were the first short stories I have read by Christie. They were very different from the longer stories but I really enjoyed them.
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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 Mary Clarissa Miller was born in Torquay, Devon, England, U.K., as the youngest of three. The Millers had two other children: Margaret Frary Miller (1879–1950), called Madge, who was eleven years Agatha's senior, and Louis Montant Miller (1880
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More about Agatha Christie...
And Then There Were None Murder on the Orient Express (Hercule Poirot, #10) The Mysterious Affair at Styles (Hercule Poirot #1) Murder at the Vicarage (Miss Marple, #1) The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (Hercule Poirot, #4)

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