The Sign in the Sky

  • Harley Quin
  • Short Story
  • 1925

Can Mr Quin and Mr Satterthwaite prove a man innocent when he is convicted of murder? Or did Martin Wylde really take the life of the beautiful Vivien Barnaby? From The Mysterious Mr Quin.

More about this story

Mr Satterthwaite attends the trial of young Martin Wylde accused of murder. Shortly after the guilty verdict is returned, Satterthwaite runs into his mysterious friend Harley Quin. Can they prove Wylde’s innocence or did he really kill the beautiful Vivien Barnaby? In this story he has to travel all the way to Banff in Canada to solve the mystery.

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 book form in the collection The Mysterious Mr Quin, published by Collins in 1930, which altered the title slightly from the original magazine publication's A Sign in the Sky. 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 then abridged and broadcast in 2010 as part of BBC Radio 4's series of Afternoon Readings, performed by Martin Jarvis.

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