Agatha Christie's Mysterious Mr Quin

Martin Jarvis reads three stories written by Agatha Christie in the 1920s featuring her personal favourite character, the mysterious Mr Harley Quin.

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Episodes

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0101The Coming Of Mr Quin2009091520110111

When guests at a house party recall the suicide of the previous owner, a mysterious stranger arrives who throws unexpected light on the case.

But another mystery remains - who actually is Mr Quin himself?

0102The Soul Of The Croupier2009091620110112

Martin Jarvis reads this compelling tale set amidst the roulette tables of Monte Carlo, starring Agatha Christie's personal favourite character, Harley Quin.

Holidaying in the South of France, Mr Satterthwaite encounters a beautiful Russian Countess with a mysterious past.

But with the sudden arrival of Mr Quin, secrets are about to be revealed.

Can Mr Quin assist his friend Satterthwaite to solve a conundrum concerning a beautiful Countess and a brash young American, amid the roulette tables of Monte Carlo?

0103 LASTAt The Bells And Motley2009091720110113

For Mr Satterthwaite, a punctured car tyre on a cold winter's evening is the start of another mystery-solving encounter with the enigmatic Mr Harley Quin.

Taking refuge at a country inn Mr Satterthwaite discovers his friend Mr Quin, who invites him to re-examine the strange case of a wealthy young local woman and her new husband's disappearance.

Was it murder? Or is there some other game afoot?

0201The World's End2010091420130419

Following the success of the first series of 'The Mysterious Mr Quin', Martin Jarvis reads more stories featuring Agatha Christie's personal favourite character.

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate three mysteries. But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite, on holiday in Corsica, travels by car with his friend the Duchess and an Indian judge, to the top of the island known as The Worlds End. They are led, via perilous ravine lined roads, by Naomi, a young, strangely distracted artist.

In a village at the summit they suddenly encounter Mr Quin and, whilst sheltering from a sudden snowstorm, another visiting group - a well-known actress, her husband and a theatre producer. The actress tells the story of her stolen opal and the young writer imprisoned for the offence. Naomi seems unexpectedly disturbed by the tale.

Has Mr Quin once again appeared in time to avert a possible tragedy?

Producer: Rosalind Ayres

A Jarvis and Ayres Production for BBC Radio 4.

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate three mysteries.

But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite, on holiday in Corsica, travels by car with his friend the Duchess and an Indian judge, to the top of the island known as The Worlds End.

They are led, via perilous ravine lined roads, by Naomi, a young, strangely distracted artist.

In a village at the summit they suddenly encounter Mr Quin and, whilst sheltering from a sudden snowstorm, another visiting group - a well-known actress, her husband and a theatre producer.

The actress tells the story of her stolen opal and the young writer imprisoned for the offence.

Naomi seems unexpectedly disturbed by the tale.

0202The Face Of Helen20100915

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate three mysteries.

But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite meets Mr Quin at a performance of 'Pagliaccia', sung by the rising tenor star Yoachim.

In the audience they see a remarkably beautiful young woman.

After the performance Quin mysteriously hints that, once again, they have been witness to a drama.

Outside the opera house Satterthwaite offers the young woman a lift home in his car to escape a scuffle between her jealous companion, Philip Eastney and another young man, Mr Burns.

Later, Satterthwaite encounters Gillian and Charlie Burns in Kew Gardens; they are now engaged to be married.

Gillian is worried that Eastney may be upset.

Charlie reveals Gillian's sad history of distressing behaviour by men obsessed with her.

That evening, Satterthwaite encounters Eastney who discusses his war work on poison gas manufacture but, mainly, music.

Eastney once heard Caruso sing and believes the tenor was able to shatter a glass with a particularly pitched high note.

On his way home Satterthwaite realises the significance of Quin's remark at the opera.

The latest newspaper announces that tonight's concert on the wireless will include Yoachim singing a song with a particularly high final note.

Will Satterthwaite be in time to prevent a tragedy?

0203 LASTThe Sign In The Sky20100916

Mr Quin assists his friend Mr Satterthwaite to investigate mysteries.

But one mystery remains - who is Mr Harley Quin himself?

Mr Satterthwaite, and Mr Quin discuss the outcome of a trial.

Martin Wylde has been found guilty of the murder of Vivian Barnaby.

Satterthwaite knew the victim and her husband Sir George, and thinks Wylde is an unlikely murderer but the evidence seems convincing.

Younger than her husband, Vivian formed a relationship with Wylde, but he became anxious to end the liaison to pursue a romance with a local girl, Sylvia Dale.

At trial, Wylde admitted that, in answer to her letter, he had gone to the Hall for a final meeting.

He then went home, accidentally leaving his shotgun behind.

The household staff heard a shot and found Vivian dead in the music room.

All the evidence was highly dependent on the time-lines of everyone's story.

Quin encourages Satterthwaite to visit the only member of the household who was present on the day of the murder but had not given evidence, a housekeeper who had taken up a lucrative job in Canada.

She has one piece of new information.

Just before she heard the shot she saw the smoke from the local train which seemed to be forming the shape of a giant hand in the sky.

She felt that - given it was also Friday the 13th - it was 'a sign'.

With the help of Mr Quin will Satterthwaite be able find the murderer and save a possibly innocent man?

0301The Dead Harlequin20110906

Mr Satterthwaite buys a painting.

It intrigues him because the face of the man in the picture bears a distinct resemblance to a certain Mr Quin.

One Harlequin lies dead on the floor, another Harlequin is looking through the window.

What does it mean? 'I took a special interest in your picture,' says Mr Satterthwaite to the artist, 'I recognised it as the Terrace Room at Charnley.' He knows that a suicide was committed there fourteen years ago.

But is the picture telling us something else? Was it, in fact, murder?

There are guests that night for dinner at Satterthwaite's home.

An extra place is laid.

Will Mr Harley Quin arrive to assist their thinking - perhaps even solve the mystery?

0302The Man From The Sea20110907

Written by Agatha Christie.

Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Martin Jarvis reads this intriguing 1920s story by the undisputed queen of Crime.

Mr Satterthwaite is holidaying on a Spanish Island.

One day he proceeds from the hotel to the small harbour.

He passes the black lava beach where the surf thunders and where, long ago, an English swimmer was carried out to sea and drowned.

High up, on the edge of the cliff, is a white villa with faded green shutters, and a tangled beautiful garden.

Today Mr Satterthwaite's peace is going to be oddly shattered.

Something strange and frightening once occurred in this house.

But will it take Mr Harley Quin's influence over Satterthwaite to discover the truth?

0303 LASTHarlequin's Lane20110908

Written by Agatha Christie.

Adapted by Archie Scottney.

Martin Jarvis performs this riveting 1920s story.

Mr Satterthwaite is staying at the Denman's country home.

There's to be a performance in the grounds of a neighbouring mansion that evening - a 'masquerade' and a ballet.

But a motor accident means that two new dancers have to be found to replace the visiting professionals.

There seem to be unresolved mysteries here.

Does Anna Denman harbour a secret? Is there a secret, too, concerning her husband? Why is Mr Harley Quin staying in the country house? And then, during the performance, Mr Satterthwaite begins to perceive the truth of what is happening.

But the revelations which follow concerning Mr Quin are surprising and frightening.

Mr Satterthwaite has never had to deal with anything quite like this before.