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Quin, Harley. Harley Quin was created by Agatha Christie (Superintendent Battle, Tommy & Tuppence Beresford, Jane Marple, Hercule Poirot, Parker Pyne, Colonel Race, Solving Six) and appeared in thirteen stories from 1925 to 1951, beginning with “Mr. Quin Passes By” (Munsey’s Magazine, Mar. 1925); twelve of the stories were collected in The Mysterious Mr. Quin (1930).

Little is known about Harley Quin, and he reveals nothing about himself. He is a tall, gaunt man, dark in complexion, with a sad and almost contemptuous expression on his face. He has an affinity for shadows and darkness, somehow always managing to stand in them. His purpose in the stories in which he appears is to be the explicator of events; he rarely if ever takes action, but he explains matters to listeners so that mysteries are solved and the guilty, however long they had evaded justice, are punished--or, alternatively, that those plotting murders and other crimes are unsuccessful. He may or may not be the archetypal Harlequin. Quin always appears when the aging gentleman detective Mr. Satterthwaite is present, and seems to use Satterthwaite as his instrument of justice--Quin explains, and Satterthwaite takes action.

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