The Dead Harlequin

Short Story

First published: 1929

A Harley Quin story


The Dead Harlequin

Mr Satterthwaite stumbles across a painting depicting a Harlequin, much like his friend Mr Quin, standing in the scene where a man shot himself fourteen years earlier. Coincidence? From The Mysterious Mr Quin.

More about this story

Mr Satterthwaite comes across a painting which stirs memories of a past death, as Mr Quin observes the events from both the picture and the present.

As can be seen throughout these stories Mr Satterthwaite (like Agatha Christie) is a great patron of the arts. He visits the opera, and has a young protégé, Olga, who is to make her debut as Isolde. He has a valuable art collection (and no heirs to leave it to) and he likes to visit the Casino in Monte Carlo. His age is said to be sixty-nine although, from many young people he comes into contact with seem to think he is at least eighty, if not a hundred!

The story was first published in book form in the collection The Mysterious Mr Quin, published by Collins in 1930. The collection was dedicated to its eponymous hero and is the only book of Agatha Christie's to be dedicated to a fictional character. The story was abridged for BBC Radio 4 and performed by Martin Jarvis in 2011.

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