Top 3 Harley Quin Stories?
Which of the Harley Quin stories are your favorites? Why?
Having just finished reading The Mysterious Mr. Quin, my 3 favorite stories in the set were "The Face of Helen", "The Soul of the Croupier", and "The Sign in the Sky".
"The Sign in the Sky" is one of my favorites because it was an intriguing murder mystery with a clever twist that holds the key to solving the mystery.
I liked the characters a lot in "The Soul of the Croupier". The love story also worked better here than many of the other Harley Quin stories because the relationships between the triangles of lovers were better developed.
"The Face of Helen" was interesting partly because I have always enjoyed Greek mythology. Rather than depicting Helen negatively as a woman who creates loads of trouble through her misconduct, I liked Christie's positive interpretation of Helen as "a nice, ordinary woman, blessed or cursed with a wonderful face". I also liked how this was a case of a crime narrowly averted. Although I am not familiar with the operas Christie mentions, I thought she did a very nice job of incorporating her love of music into this story. I also liked how Mr. Satterthwaite was able to solve the mystery all on his own without any prodding from Harley Quin. In this story in particular, you really appreciate Mr. Satterthwaite's development from the early Harley Quin stories. Whereas in the first few stories Mr. Satterthwaite was just a bystander and completely dependent on Harley Quin, here Mr. Satterthwaite takes an active role throughout the story and draws shrewd deductions independently simply by believing in his own abilities.
I liked "The coming of Mr. Quin". The discussion of the long-ago tragedy and the putting together of facts that the different people knew rang true to me - and the happy ending for the suspected wife was really moving. I liked "The man from the sea" because of it's changing moods (by the way, there are some similarities to "The Arcadian deer" in "The labours of Hercules", though the stories are very different). My third choice is one of the two Harley Quin stories that were printed in separate collections : "The Harlequin Tea set" (included in the story collections "Problem at Polensa Bay", "The golden ball and other stories"). I like the twists in it, and the ending is beautiful. (the other Harley Quin story printed separately is "The love detectives", which is included in the same collections.)
New Orleans, USA
I can't pick a Mr. Quin, because I love how they all develop together. In the coming of Mr. Quin, he's mysterious but not obviously supernatural. I think by "The Love Detectives", you're firmly in the know that this is the spirit of the Harlequin come to Earth to embroil himself in situations of Love and Death.
edited December 2016
I can't pick either. I see all 14 of them as a whole.
Agatha Christie concluded her 1953 foreword with:
Of the Mr Quin stories, my favourites are: World's End, Man from the Sea, and Harlequin's Lane."
Buenos Aires, Argentina
The Harleyquin tea set