Friday, May 28, 2010

The Mysterious Mr. Quin by Agatha Christie

Synopsis From Back Cover:

A conjurer of skill with an instinct for detection, Mr. Harly Quin has an almost magical flair for appearing at the scene of the most remarkable crimes.  But is it just a trick of light that haunts his shadow with a ghostly apparition?  Is if fate that invites him to a New Year's Eve murder?  And what forces are at work when his car breaks down outside Royston Hall, an isolated estate with a deadly history?

Well here I am finishing up another book on my Agatha Christie self challenge and I must say that I'm still not sure what I'm really thinking about this one.  This is a collection of 12 short stories that she wrote over a long period of time that while they are mysteries, there is a very strong supernatural element to them.

They all feature Mr. Satterthwaite, a older gentleman who has lived his life through the observation of others.   When he encounters Mr. Harly Quin for the first time, he knows he's met someone that will bring about the "dramas" he so craves. 

Without an exemption Mr. Harly Quin arrives on the scene or in some other fashion and Mr. Satterthwaite through his own skills of observation is able to discern the truth of the crime involved.  I thoroughly enjoyed all the stories and am most appreciative of the fact that Mr. Harly Quin is not quite human, which is obvious from almost the beginning.

Now whether he is a angel or some sort of spirit who speaks on behalf of the dead is left up to your own imagination.  Either way he is an enigma of a character and I wish that Agatha Christie would have wrote more about him. 

Now from a mystery standpoint I found the stories to be thrilling and captivating.  Each one presents a new set of circumstances and challenges for Mr. Satterthwaite to figure out and come out on top of it.

I highly recommend this book to everyone who wants to read really well crafted mystery writing with a tinge of the supernatural.

This will qualify for both the Thriller & Suspense 2010 Reading Challenge and the Typically British Reading Challenge 2010, both of which are hosted by Carolyn of Book Chick City.


Michelle Stockard Miller said...

Wow! You're really plowing your way through the AC books. I'm proud of you. =O) Great review!

Have a great Memorial Day weekend!

Staci said...

I really enjoy your Christie reviews. My goal is to read all of her books too and this one sounds great. I love that supernatural element!!

Kaye said...

Christie is still the best, hands down. Great review!

Kerrie said...

Yes, this is a very interesting collection Ryan. I get the feeling SAgatha Christie would have liked to dabble more in the supernatural, don't you? Don't forget to submit it to the next Blog Carnival

Elizabeth Frengel said...

You and Miss Lemon seem to be of the same mind. See her review of same at The Mysterious Mr. Quin.

If you like these, you might also like The Thirteen Problems -- another excellent collection of short stories.

Melissa (My words and pages) said...

Another great review for your Agatha shelf. :) Have you read all her books yet? This one sounds like a cool read. I like the idea of the supernatural feel to it. Thanks for the review!

Anonymous said...

I've never read these, but they don't seem to be quite what I think of when I think of Agatha Christie, who I love by the way.