- Hercule Poirot
- Jane Marple
- Other Works
- Agatha Christie
- Style & Writing
- Contact HPC
- Support HPC
- About HPC
- Shop at HPC
Harley Quin & Mr. Satterthwaite
Of all of the Christie characters, Mr. Quin remains the most mysterious. He is the most interesting of the "detectives" for he is more magical and invisible than anything else. It's difficult to explain: he's a tall dark young man gifted with the power over minds and people's destinies to be a "friend of lovers." This supernatural-like man works with the very observant Mr. Satterthwaite, who is basically an agent of Quin. Through Satterthwaite (an elderly, dried-up man who's elf-like), Quin works his miracles. Quin always reminds his elderly friend that he has a role to play in the drama of life. Mr. Satterthwaite is passionate for the arts: he is always at the theatre or at an art gallery. Satterthwaite is an admirer of Kew Gardens and was once in love in his youth.
Satterthwaite and Quin change the courses of people's lives by solving murders and even preventing marital disasters. Although Quin appears when least expected and disappears similarly, he tells Satterthwaite that it is he who does the "conjuring tricks". Quin is always quick to remind Satterthwaite that it is he who actually solves the problems of mankind, not Quin. Quin believes in the past, because "there is no atmosphere in the present." Quin, as seen in one story, even has the power to summon death. In fact, Satterthwaite (and Christie herself) once described Quin as "an advocate for the dead".
If these stories could be described in any way, it would be the mystery story mingled with fairy tales. The Mysterious Mr. Quin is a collection of 12 short stories and The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories contains a short story, never published before in a Christie volume, about Satterthwaite meeting with Quin years later. Satterthwaite appears with Poirot in two cases: Three-Act Tragedy and the short story "Dead Man's Mirror." In her autobiography, Christie said that Quin and Satterthwaite were her two favorite characters. In fact, The Mysterious Mr. Quin was dedicated by Christie "To Harlequin The Invisible".
Harley Quin's Quotes
"You believe in a life after death, do you not? And who are you to say that the same wishes, the same desires, may not operate in that other life?"
"I'm not a magician. I'm not even a criminologist. In any time of crisis, there is always one moment that stands out from all the others, one picture that remains when all else has faded."
Mr. Satterthwaite's Quotes
"But I see things. I may have been only a looker on at Life--but I see things that other people do not."
"[Quin] has a power--an almost uncanny power--of showing you what you have seen with your own eyes, of making clear to you what you have heard with your own ears."