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The Harlequin Tea Set is a short story which is believed to have been written in the 1950s[1] but which was first published as part of an anthology Winters Crimes #3 in 1971. In the 1990s, the story was included in two collections of Christie stories Problem at Pollensa Bay and Other Stories and The Harlequin Tea Set and Other Stories. This story is one of two stories featuring the Harley Quin character which did not form part of the collection The Mysterious Mr. Quin.


Waiting for his car to be fixed, Mr Satterthwaite sits in a tea shop called the Harlequin Café, thinking of his friend Harley Quin, whom he hasn’t seen in many years. Then, in a burst of sunshine, the very same Mr. Quin walks through the door, along with his diligent dog, Hermes. Satterthwaite is telling him the very long history of the family he is off to visit, when their conversation is interrupted by the abrupt entrance of a member of that very same family, intent upon replacing her harlequin cups. Satterthwaite desperately asks Quin to accompany him on his trip, but the ever-enigmatic Quin simply leaves his friend with one word, “Daltonism.” What does that word mean, and what is the significance of Quin turning up at the tea shop on that day?


Publication history


  1. Vanessa Wagstaff and Stephen Poole, Agatha Christie A Reader's Companion, (London: Aurum Press, 2004), 60.
  2. See the listing at Galactic Central