2008: 183. The Mysterious Mr. Quinn

“It was New Year’s Eve.  The elder members of the house party at Royston were assembled in the big hall.”

The Mysterious Mr. Quinn, Agatha Christie


This is actually one of my favorite of the obscure works by Christie.  It is a collection of short stories in which an elderly man, Mr. Satterwaithe is the protagonist.  He is an observer in life - a man who has let life pass him by, an event which he now thinks of with regret.  However, he finds himself drawn into a number of situations where he is able to solve crimes (or heal broken hearts), just because of his status as observer.  He knows when these moments will arrive because they coincide with the arrival of Mr. Harley Quinn, a mysterious figure whose presence fills Satterwaithe with clarity, and he is able to bring justice about.  

These are strange little stories - Quinn is obviously a supernatural figure - but they have a nice touch to them, mysterious without seeming hokey.  And I like Satterwaithe - it plays on the Marple theme that the elderly have something to offer with their life experience, but adds a little bit to it, with his ability to solve problems being aided by his role as observer.  It is hard to find this book - Amazon didn’t seem to have any for sale, but if you find them, they are well worth the read.


Date/Place Completed: 11/14/08; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction, Re-Read, Agatha Christie Project


© Carrie Dunsmore 2017