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The Mysterious Mr. Quin

(Harley Quin #1)

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  10,303 ratings  ·  680 reviews
Harley Quin is an enigma. Even his friend Mr Satterthwaite is unable to understand how the man seems to appear and disappear almost like a trick of the light - and when he does appear it's usually in the sparkle of sunshine, or surrounded by a spectrum of coloured light pouring through a stained glass window...

In fact, the only consistent thing about the Mysterious Mr Quin
Paperback, Agatha Christie Signature Edition, 396 pages
Published 2003 by Harper Collins (first published April 14th 1930)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
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Nandakishore Varma
Sep 22, 2011 rated it it was amazing
According to me, this is one of the underrated gems of Agatha Christie, where she flirts with fantasy. Even though none of the stories except the last one (Harlequin's Lane) cross over into fantasy territory, they are always on the borderline. That Christie does this without straining our credibility speaks volumes for her mastery of the medium.

Mr. Harley Quin is a thinly disguised Harlequin, transported into modern England. His specialty: he allows one to solve mysteries by stripping away the
An Agatha Christie novel starring Harley Quinn?!


No. Calm down, nerd.
But it does feature a character named Harley Quin, who helps our main character, Mr. Satterthwaite, solve a series of old mysteries that somehow relate to whatever situation our elderly hero finds himself in at the moment. <--at a house party, trip abroad, etc.


But in case you're thinking whothefuckcares if the name isn't Poirot or Marple, there's a paranormal TWIST to this one that I've never seen before in any of Christie's
Simona Bartolotta
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it

"Sentiment beloonged to his age. It had no part to play in the modern world."

This is a Christie that is totally different from the one you and I know, or knew, or thought we knew. Even in her most-known and appreciated works, she always flirts with the supernatural and the mysterious, but, this time around, flirting isn't enough for her anymore: this time, she abandons herself to it; and yet without giving the impression of fully doing it.

It's a mystery in itself, how she did it, the main
This is the only book of Harley Quin written by Agatha Christie and it is unlike any other Christie novel.

A collection of 12 short stories where the recurring characters are Mr. Harley Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite.

Mr Satterthwaite is different from Christie's other side-kick (Mr.Hastings of Poirot series). He is from British Upper class, is 60+ years old and loves his comfort.

Coming to Mr.Harley Quin, again very different from the famous Poirot or Miss Marple....
"This was Mr.Quin's doing. It was
Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
I very much like the retro feel of my edition's cover

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1) by Agatha Christie

But some other editions have some quite brilliant cover art that capture the who feel of this book

The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1) by Agatha Christie The Mysterious Mr. Quin (Harley Quin, #1) by Agatha Christie The Mysterious Mr Quin by Agatha Christie The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie The Mysterious Mr. Quin Twelve Complete Mysteries by Agatha Christie
and above all

The Mysterious Mr Quin The World's End and other stories by Agatha Christie

(I've had fun collecting these covers, all from Goodreads)

I didn't care for this title when I read it in my younger years, but the hint of the fantastic doesn't bother me now and with the exception of The Shadow of the Glass and The Bird With a Broken Wing (this one was too silly for me!) these were all good
Laurel Young
Apr 20, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I am going to give this collection of short stories 5 stars because I truly cannot find fault with it. I just reviewed The Labours of Hercules and remarked that sometimes Christie had to force the stories to fit the theme, to their detriment. With Mr. Quin, there is no such strain--the overarching motif (stories with a touch of the supernatural and the whimsical) is elastic enough to accommodate a fine variety of excellent stories. I think this collection is unique in that Dame Agatha had the ...more
mark monday
Choose Your Own Adventure!

You are the Mysterious Mr. Quinn. You are ever so mysterious. And yet you do not really hold a candle to Poirot or Marple or even the Tuppences. Your adventures are boring; your mysteries are trite. You are an Unfinished Book.

If you decide you want some hot Belgian action, choose

If you decide an older woman would be more your cuppa, choose
Wafae | 와파
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Ratings: SOLID 05 STARS!!
Shelved as: Favs!! Fav Mystery Novels!!
Status: wow, in love with Mr Harley Quin.. 3

Well, well, well, how to start this review..
First, I am not ashamed to say that I didn't really feel this book at the very beginning.. Idek why, it felt so heavy & I thought 'oh god, I really wanted it to be a lovely read..' I was kinda disappointed. So, I've decided to put the book down for a little bit. Which did me good because I knew I was going to get back to it after some time..

Jan 03, 2020 rated it really liked it

Short stories always feel a little ‘less’ than novels to me and yet, here, Christie gives us much to ponder... What seems at first entertaining mysteries can also be seen as sharp glimpses into the human psyche!

Twelve mysteries are served to the reader, featuring the likeable Mr Satterthwaite, who prefers to witness what happens around him rather than participate. However, with the appearance of the enigmatic Mr. Quin, our deal old gentleman is forced into the role of mystery solver.

I love
Molly Black
Aug 24, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite collection of short stories, all tied together around the realm of the harlequinade as experienced by the dapper, if wizened, Mr. Satterthwaite.

As others have mentioned, there's no sense of strain in these stories, no sense that the beloved by many, Agatha Christie, had problems matching Mr. Quin to his supernatural side, by bringing in the ever curious Mr. Satterthwaite to help bring walking spirits to rest, perhaps bring the guilty to justice, and even to help the lonely
Feb 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mystery fans
A charming collection of Agatha Christie stories, all revolving around a man with the unlikely name of Harley Quin.

Mr. Quin appears and disappears suddenly. But if the protagonist, Mr. Satterthwaite, sees him, he knows that something exciting is about to happen.

This book focused more on suicide than other Agatha Christie books I've read. Some stories didn't deal with murder or suicide, but the majority did.

1.) The Coming of Mr. Quin. Harley Quin shows up unexpectedly at a New Year's Eve dinner
Vikas Singh
Jan 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: owned-book
It is a collection of twelve stories that Agatha wrote for various magazines between 1924-1929. These were then compiled in a single edition in 1930. In 1953 Penguin published ten of Christie’s novels of her liking and this edition was one of them. In special foreword written by Agatha she picks three stories as her favorite- Man from the sea, The World’s end and Harlequin’s lane. Mr. Quinn was one of Christie’s favorite creations and there is a good deal of suspense around him. He appears ...more
If I weren't trying to read everything by Agatha Christie, I would have missed Mr. Harley Quin. So different than Christie Poirot and Marple books. Christie mixes mystery and near fantasy with the mysterious Mr. Quin and the elderly Mr. Satterthwaite. Quin shows up suddenly at key moments intervening on behalf of lovers and the dead utilizing the observant Mr. Satterthwaite in this process. Quin grew on me as I read through this book. The stories become progressively more fanciful and ...more
Jul 22, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: crime
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a collection of several short stories involving Mr. Satterthwaite and Mr. Harley Quin (of course). It was a refreshing and entertaining book. I really enjoyed the "friendship" between the mysterious and magical Mr. Quin and Mr Satterthwaite. My favorite of the stories was The Man from the Sea (very well written).
Dec 15, 2008 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: nobody
Recommended to Phayvanh by: library book sale
Who are you crazy people who like this book, think it memorable, or - gasp! - among one of Christie's best works??!! This book sucked ostrich eggs. The only reason I kept reading it to the end was to unlock the "mystery" of Mr. Quin, and to revel in Christie's spiral into the dark and supernatural. Little did I know that this was Christie at her laziest.

The 12 interlocking, and often repetitive, stories featuring both Mr. Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite, are rough sketches of (potentially
Ivonne Rovira
Nov 15, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Golden Age of Mystery fans
Dame Agatha Christie pens a collection of short stories very different than her works featuring the precise, foppish Hercule Poirot or the intuitive but circumlocutious Miss Marple. The stories deal with the interaction between a mysterious dark, saturnine stranger using the pseudonym of Harley Quin and a 69-year-old meek, wizened bachelor named Mr. Satterthwaite, a man sometimes sentimental and a bit of a fop but perceptive and a shrewd judge of character. In the story titled “The Soul of the ...more
Mar 16, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
What did I think?! Answer: Eww -_-

I'll say just two points:-
1- Christie wrote this book when she was a beginner.
2- If not so, then my copy is not the original text :p

w a5tem klamy b 7asbya Allah w Ne3ma Alwakeel!
Jan 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: mystery
Long before Magical Realism was "A Thing", there was Agatha Christie and the mysterious Mr. Quin. A genre-bending, completely unexpected series of short stories. Nothing like Christie's Poirot and Marple mysteries but very satisfying in a completely different way.

My thanks to Nandakishore Varma whose wonderful review encouraged me to read this classic.
Kirsten McKenzie
I can categorically say that I adored this book. Every story was a precious gem - short, concise, complete. Mr. Quin is one of the most enigmatic characters in any book I've read. A character so devoid of backstory or definition, yet so complete. Agatha Christie's characterisation of him is masterful. And Mr. Satterthwaite... so clever, co connected, yet so sad. Living his life on the fringes of his friends. I wanted to wrap him up in a cloak of love and compassion, but yet he seems so entirely ...more
Guy Adams
Feb 08, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: crime, fantasy
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is not one of Christie's most well know books. A collection of bizarre, bittersweet tales starring Mr. Satterthwaite, an elderly observer of life. He is a refined old gent who knows all about the complexities of life and love but has never experienced them for his own. Mr. Satterthwaite is haunted, not only by his barely-realised sense of regret but also by a mysterious man known as Mr. Quin, a man who "speaks for the dead" and "comes and goes" as they need him. Mr. Quin ...more
3.5 stars maybe? I'll have to think about that last story for a little longer...
Cynthia Egbert
May 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Harley Quin is a far more wonderful character than today's Harley Quinn! I adored this collection of stories and did everything I could to savor it and draw it out as long as possible but, alas, I am finished. Dame Christie, in her autobiography, speaks of Mr. Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite as two of her favourite characters and I can see why and I dearly wish that she had written more stories with them. The subtle underlying of something supernatural and powerful makes these just my cup of tea. ...more
This is a little different than some of her other books. It's got a bit of a magical feel to it. That said, I enjoyed the "outside looking in," style of the main character. The stories are fairly quick reads, this would make a nice book for waiting in line or commutes.
1930, sentimental, slightly spooky short stories tied together very loosely via protagonists (Harley Quin and Mr. Satterthwaite) and themes (how meeting someone can change a life, at any moment, for almost any reason, sometimes just in the nick of time). Not really a true novel, but an interesting grouping of stories that reflect popular philosophy/attitudes at the time; many of these now seem very innocent in tone, at least superficially - don't be fooled... Some stories are three stars, a ...more
Sepideh Dehghani
Aug 05, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What?! ...more
Agatha Christie does it again! She cannot write a mystery and not make it mind blowing. It's so easy to read an Agatha Christie book from time to time to dive into a world of mystery and intrigue.
The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a collection of twelve stories featuring a very interesting character, Mr Satterthwaite who observes everyone and everything. He is a person "who knows everything", as described by most of the characters in these stories.

"But I see things. I may have been only a looker on at
Apr 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, mystery
The best thing that Christie ever wrote.

Mr. Satterthwaite is our guide into an upper class world of murder, deceit and property. An old man, he is Poirot without the little grey cells, or Miss Marple without the ability to apply his strong observational skills to problems, and is mostly content to be an observer of life rather than to take part in it.

All this changes when the highly mysterious Mr. Harley Quin arrives on the scene. Odd and unusual, where he goes drama follows, leaving Mr.
Charlotte Langstroth
You should read this if you're quite familiar with Christie - I say this as otherwise I think you'd find this slightly underwhelming. These are all short stories which all follow the similar pattern of Mr. Satterthwaite, who with a lack of confidence solves mysteries with help from Mr. Harley Quinn who only ever appears intermittently. I found the first two stories VERY POOR but the rest seemed to pick up after. My favourites were "At The Bells & Motley", "The Soul of the Croupier", and "The ...more
Penny Landon
Aug 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I have always been a fan of Agatha Christie and as I have made my way through all of her books, I have begun to notice pattern between them. The style of the mysteries is always the same. This book took me by surprise because it is so different from the rest of her works. I started reading with the assumption that Mr. Harley Quin would be the "detective" and the stories would be told from his point of view. I'm glad that I was completely wrong. All of the stories are told from the point of view ...more
Jennifer Girardin
Nov 19, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this collection of short stories by Agatha Christie, featuring fussy little Mr. Satterthwaite and the dark and mysterious Mr. Harley Quin, who is always "just passing by," and helps Mr. Satterthwaite solve crimes and human dramas that unravel before him.

Mr. Satterthwaite is an older man, a bachelor, and a connoisseur. He has always watched life pass by, and was content to do so. But as old age approaches, he decides to participate in the little things that have passed him by.
He is
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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 66 crime novels and story collections, fourteen plays, and six novels under a pseudonym in Romance. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language and a billion in

Other books in the series

Harley Quin (2 books)
  • The Coming of Mr. Quin: A Short Story (Harley Quin)
“You say your life is your own. But can you dare to ignore the chance that you are taking part in a gigantic drama under the orders of a divine Producer? Your cue may not come till the end of the play--it may be totally unimportant, a mere walking-on part, but upon it may hang the issues of the play if you do not give the cue to another player. The whole edifice may crumple. You as you, may not matter to anyone in the world, but you as a person in a particular place may matter unimaginably.” 12 likes
“Is death the greatest evil that can happen to anyone?” 8 likes
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