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The Mysterious Mr Quin
Агата Кристи

The Mysterious Mr Quin
Agatha Christie

A mysterious stranger appears at a New Year’s Eve party, becoming the enigmatic sleuthing sidekick to the snobbish Mr Satterthwaite…So far, it had been a typical New Year’s Eve house party. But Mr Satterthwaite – a keen observer of human nature – sensed that the real drama of the evening was yet to unfold.So it proved when a mysterious stranger arrived after midnight. Who was this Mr Quin? And why did his presence have such a pronounced effect on Eleanor Portal, the woman with the dyed-black hair?

Agatha Christie

The Mysterious Mr Quin


Published by HarperCollinsPublishers Ltd

1 London Bridge Street

London SE1 9GF

www.harpercollins.co.uk (http://www.harpercollins.co.uk)

First published in Great Britain by

Collins 1930

Copyright © 1930 Agatha Christie Ltd.

All rights reserved.

www.agathachristie.com (http://www.agathachristie.com)

Ebook Edition 2010 ISBN: 9780007422593

Version: 2018-03-26

The moral right of the author is asserted

All rights reserved. This book is sold subject to the condition that it shall not, by way of trade or otherwise, be lent, re-sold, hired out or otherwise circulated without the publisher’s prior consent. No part of this text may be reproduced, transmitted, downloaded, reverse engineered, or stored in or introduced into any information storage and retrieval system, in any form or by any means whether electronic or mechanical, now known or hereinafter invented, without the express written permission of HarperCollins ebooks.

To Harlequin the Invisible




1 The Coming of Mr Quin

2 The Shadow on the Glass

3 At the ‘Bells and Motley’

4 The Sign in the Sky

5 The Soul of the Croupier

6 The Man from the Sea

7 The Voice in the Dark

8 The Face of Helen

9 The Dead Harlequin

10 The Bird with the Broken Wing

11 The World’s End

12 Harlequin’s Lane

About the Author

Other Books by Agatha Christie

About the Publisher


The Mr Quin stories were not written as a series. They were written one at a time at rare intervals. Mr Quin, I consider, is an epicure’s taste.

A set of Dresden figures on my mother’s mantelpiece fascinated me as a child and afterwards. They represented the Italian commedia dell’arte: Harlequin, Columbine, Pierrot, Pierette, Punchinello, and Punchinella. As a girl I wrote a series of poems about them, and I rather think that one of the poems, Harlequin’s Song, was my first appearance in print. It was in the Poetry Review, and I got a guinea for it!

After I turned from poetry and ghost stories to crime, Harlequin finally reappeared; a figure invisible except when he chose, not quite human, yet concerned with the affairs of human beings and particularly of lovers. He is also the advocate for the dead.

Though each story about him is quite separate, yet the collection, written over a considerable period of years, outlines in the end of the story of Harlequin himself.

With Mr Quin there has been created little Mr Satterthwaite, Mr Quin’s friend in this mortal world: Mr Satterthwaite, the gossip, the looker-on at life, the little man who without ever touching the depths of joy and sorrow himself, recognizes drama when he sees it, and is conscious that he has a part to play.

Of the Mr Quin stories, my favourite are: World’s End, The Man from the Sea, and Harlequin’s Lane.

Chapter 1

The Coming of Mr Quin

It was New Year’s Eve.

The elder members of the house party at Royston were assembled in the big hall.

Mr Satterthwaite was glad that the young people had gone to bed. He was not fond of young people in herds. He thought them uninteresting and crude. They lacked subtlety and as life went on he had become increasingly fond of subtleties.

Mr Satterthwaite was sixty-two–a little bent, dried-up man with a peering face oddly elflike, and an intense and inordinate interest in other people’s lives. All his life, so to speak, he had sat in the front row of the stalls watching various dramas of human nature unfold before him. His role had always been that of the onlooker. Only now, with old age holding him in its clutch, he found himself increasingly critical of the drama submitted to him. He demanded now something a little out of the common.
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