The Harlequin Tea Set

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  • Harley Quin
  • Short Story
  • 1971

Mr Quin leaves Satterthwaite with one word: Daltonism. But what does a tendency to colour blindness have to do with a brutal murder? From Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories.

More about this story

Years after their last meeting, Satterthwaite has an unexpected encounter with Mr Quin in the Harlequin Café. Satterthwaite is on his way to visit an old friend when Mr Quin leaves him with a single word ‘Daltonism’. Quin’s reference – to a tendency to colour blindness – may be crucial when Satherthwaite must later try and prevent a brutal murder.

In his memoirs, Sir Max Mallowan, describes his wife’s Mr Quin stories as "detection written in a fanciful vein, touching on the fairy story, a natural product of Agatha’s peculiar imagination".

This story was first published in book form in the UK collection Winter Crimes #3 in 1971, published by MacMillan. It appeared in the collection Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories in 1991, and in the US in 1997 it was included in The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories.

It has never been adapted.

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