I thought staring the new year with an interesting book might be stimulating. Many of my friends who read Agatha Christie haven’t yet read Harley Quin. My interest in the collection was stirred only in my second outing with the book. Yet, after all these years, the book retains its mysterious air-just like the protagonist Mr.Harley Quin, who comes and goes-in the words of his friend and admirer Mr.Satterthwaite.
But even Mr.Satterthwaite is unable to put his friend in a frame. But whenever Mr.Quin turns up in Satterthwaite’s company, it is to help him solve a mystery.
As is told in the 12 short, interesting stories. We see Mr.Quin for the first time in the opening story itself-The Coming of Mr.Quin. The appearance is dramatic in nature with the lights playing on him in a fashion as to introduce a key actor in a play. Hence I ask you ti see the above images-a riot of colors, aren’t they? Well, as we progress, Mr.Satterthwaite solves one problem after another, having been endowed with a keen sense of drama, intuition, experience of life. Yet he candidly admits that Mr.Quin, his friend helps hoim see in the right direction.
As Mr.Quin himself points out in the opening lines-it is perception that solves a problem, as we come to know why Derek Capel shot himself on that terrible night. From there, comes Unkerton’s ghost, the disappearance of a handsome captain and the connection between a daring heist, the croupier who hides a terrible secret of a rich lady and how pride wins over all, the tussle for the title between two sisters after many years in The Voice in the dark-one which will make you sit up-to the dead Harley Quin painting which helps solve a suicide, the sign in the sky which clears an important piece of evidence in a brutal killing, the missing opal in the jewel box to the very last where Satterthwaite meets Quin for one last time-intriguing, mysterious, queer.
The 12 stories are as below:
1.The Coming of Mr.Quin-Derek Capel’s suicide
2.The Shadow in the Glass-Unkerton’s family ghost
3.At the ‘Bells and Motley’-the acrobat heist
4.The Sign in the sky-the smokey evidence
5.The soul of the croupier
6.The Man from the sea
7.The voice in the dark-Uralia
8.The face of Helen-the glass beaker
9.The Dead Harleyquin-the painting clue
10.The Bird with the broken wing-the opal
11.The World’s End
The stories are excellent. Queer. A riot of colors. Enjoy!