The Coming of Mr Quin

  • Harley Quin
  • Short Story
  • 1924

The introduction of Mr Harley Quin; enigmatic and insightful, Agatha Christie described him as associated with love and death. From The Mysterious Mr Quin.

More about this story

The introduction of the Mr Harley Quin, enigmatic and insightful, Agatha Christie considered him her favourite creation, always associated with love and death. Here he meets Mr Satterthwaite for the first time on New Year's Eve when talk has turned to the suicide of an old friend just after he received his post.

"I must recommend the Harlequinade to your attention. It is dying out nowadays - but it repays attention, I assure you." Mr Satterthwaite says to his companions before midnight, little knowing that one of its leading characters is about to step through the front door and change his life and the lives of those around him.

Based on the character of Harlequin from the Italian Commedia dell'arte, Agatha Christie indulges in her fascination with the supernatural as well as her love of theatre and performance.

The story was first published in The Grand Magazine as The Passing of Mr Quin, it was included 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 adapted for film under it's magazine title in 1928, directed by Julius Hagen and Leslie S. Hiscott. The film was later "novelised" in a recorded reading in 1929 by G. Roy McRae. The original short story was abridged and broadcast in 2009 as part of BBC Radio 4's series of Afternoon Readings, performed by Martin Jarvis.

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