I don’t even know what to do with this one. It’s not bad in most ways, and in fact there’s some interesting and curious things that stand out about this collection of short stories. They’re almost structured the ways that the Sherlock Holmes collections are, where while the stories don’t always feed into one another, they are certainly of a time and of a place. So there’s a kind of cohesiveness in this collection that you get with a Holmes or with a Father Brown. In addition, Harley Quin is a fun and shadowy figure, and kind of barely there in these stories. Most of the stories circulate around the character, Satterthwaite, who is at the center of each mystery.
That’s also the reason this collection stretches credulity. Why oh why do all these murders, mysterious circumstances, and other crimes keep happening around this man? Miss Marple stories are relatively slim and stretch out over decades, plus she’s a busybody in a way. Poirot is a detective and is often sought out for his stories. Here, the falseness of the set up feels thin. That, and the premise is a little too shadowy, and the mysteries ultimately not great and too similar. I can see why this one is so limited output-wise.
“You say your life is your own. But can you dare to ignore the chance that you are taking part in a gigantic drama under the orders of a divine Producer? Your cue may not come till the end of the play–it may be totally unimportant, a mere walking-on part, but upon it may hang the issues of the play if you do not give the cue to another player. The whole edifice may crumple. You as you, may not matter to anyone in the world, but you as a person in a particular place may matter unimaginably.”