What an intriguing concept. Mr. Quin truly is mysterious, always showing up in times of impending doom. And yet, he’s merely a catalyst for this friend Mr Satterthwaite to act in some way.
In a way, the duo reminded me of the old 80s tv show Highway to Heaven, but less evangelical.
As this was the first time that I encountered Mr. Quin, I had no idea that Christie had taken this approach in some of her short stories. I knew Mr. Satterthwaite, of course, as a friend of Hercule Poirot’s whom we meet in Three Act Tragedy, but not from his other stories.
Having now read this collection – which really is a little bit of a blend between Poirot/Marple-style mystery short stories and Christie’s stories dealing with the supernatural (yes, she did write them! – see the collections The Hound of Death or The Last Seance!) – I rather like Mr Satterthwaite as a more mellow version of Poirot, who accepts that he is a snob, but who also is very big-hearted.
This was an enjoyable read, but it lacked some thing for me. I can’t even put my finger on what this might be, but I just couldn’t feel the same … thrill as with other Christie favourites.
3.5* (out of 5*)