The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

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Overview

In "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," Hercule Poirot unravels the psychological conundrums that motivate a killer. In "The Edge," a woman must decide whether to follow her heart or her conscience. And in "The Harlequin Tea Set," Mr. Harley Quin, another of Christie's famed detectives, helps a man save his loved ones from the greedy hand of murder. Six other stories about the darker side of human nature complete the collection.

Nine previously uncollected gems from ...

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The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories

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Overview

In "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," Hercule Poirot unravels the psychological conundrums that motivate a killer. In "The Edge," a woman must decide whether to follow her heart or her conscience. And in "The Harlequin Tea Set," Mr. Harley Quin, another of Christie's famed detectives, helps a man save his loved ones from the greedy hand of murder. Six other stories about the darker side of human nature complete the collection.

Nine previously uncollected gems from the world's most popular mystery writer are now available for the first time in this stellar collection.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
This welcome collection contains nine stories, most of which were published only in British newspapers and magazines during the 1920s. Hercule Poirot and Harley Quin make appearances, as do more "normal" people dealing with murder.
School Library Journal
YA--These nine short stories, never before published in the U.S., offer a variety of mysterious doings, intriguing characters, and odd circumstances. Christie's complex plots, her historical and moral perspectives, and her strong interest in human psychology are the major factors setting the tone of these selections. "The Harlequin Tea Set" weaves psychological drama with a ghost story, creating a surreal atmosphere and an extraordinary ending. Several of the stories, while interesting, are familiar in plot and character and offer no real surprises. "The Lonely God" is a love story typical of the sentimental writing of the period. "Manx Gold" is a grand adventure with several murders spicing up the plot. Christie captures cultural and period details in a way that readers can easily assimilate, making these stories time-capsule views of life during the first third of this century. This collection continues to substantiate the author's ability to create imaginative plots and characters, proving that really good writing remains readable for countless years.--Pam Johnson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA
Dispatch Richmond Times
"The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories is a treat for any Christie fan...These stories are ample proof -- if further proof were need -- of the mastery she brought to her craft."
Richmond Times-Dispatch
"The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories is a treat for any Christie fan...These stories are ample proof -- if further proof were need -- of the mastery she brought to her craft."
Kirkus Reviews
Don't get your hopes up: Six of these nine stories are inconsequential, if smoothly told, romances in Christie's Mary Westmacott mode. The exceptions include "Manx Gold," a labored and underclued treasure-hunt; "The Mystery of the Spanish Chest," an expansion (actually a dilution) of one of Christie's most successful stories, "The Mystery of the Baghdad Chest," which shows how poorly served the tale is by subtracting Hastings and expanding Poirot's dialogues with the suspects; and the title story, a pale reunion of Mr. Satterthwait and the spectral Harley Quin 40 years after their first meeting.

Christie completists will treasure the three low-grade stories for all their flaws. But the collection is the worst possible introduction to one of the genre's true masters.

Mary Daheim
“There are no original mystery plots. Christie devised all of them first, and the rest of us borrow from her.”
Richmond Times-Dispatch
“A treat for any Christie fan....These stories are ample proof—if further proof were needed—of the mastery she brought to her craft.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786214082
  • Publisher: Macmillan Library Reference
  • Publication date: 5/1/1998
  • Pages: 310
  • Product dimensions: 5.77 (w) x 8.77 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Agatha Christie

Agatha Christie was born in 1890 and created the detective Hercule Poirot in her debut novel, The Mysterious Affair at Styles (1920). She achieved wide popularity with The Murder of Roger Ackroyd (1926) and produced a total of eighty novels and short-story collections over six decades. Twenty-four of Christie's best whodunits are now available from Black Dog & Leventhal as part of their bestselling hardcover Agatha Christie Collection.

Biography

Agatha Christie is the world's best-known mystery writer. Her books have sold over a billion copies in the English language, and another billion in 44 foreign languages. She is the most widely published author of all time in any language, outsold only by the Bible and Shakespeare. Her writing career spanned more than half a century, during which she wrote 79 novels and a short story collection, as well as 14 plays, one of which, The Mousetrap, is the longest running play in history. Two of the characters she created, the brilliant Belgian detective Hercule Poirot and the irrepressible and relentless Miss Marple, went on to become world famous detectives. Both have been widely dramatized in feature films and made-for-TV movies. Agatha Christie died in 1976.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Mary Westmacott (used for her romantic fiction)
    1. Date of Birth:
      September 15, 1890
    2. Place of Birth:
      Torquay, Devon, England
    1. Date of Death:
      January 12, 1976

Table of Contents

I The Edge 1
II The Actress 29
III While the Light Lasts 43
IV The House of Dreams 59
V The Lonely God 85
VI Manx Gold 107
VII Within a Wall 143
VIII The Mystery of the Spanish Chest 171
IX The Harlequin Tea Set 235
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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 25, 2013

    This was a great book no joke!

    This was a really great book and just a tad bit different from other agatha christie books. How are they just a tad bit different u ask? Well these short stories have shall we say a almost uncertain endings (except probably the last story and the spanish chest) i really recomend this and will think u will really enjoy this book. Also this was the first time i was introduced to Mr. Harlequin and i thought he was an enthralling character. Again. Great book. Worth the money.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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