Saturday, 10 March 2001

Leslie Charteris: The Saint Goes West (1942)

Edition: Hodder Paperbacks, 1964 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 779

Two of the three stories in this wartime Saint book have nothing to do with the war, and even in the other, the first, it is not essential to the plot. The stories follow on from The Saint in Miami, and are the adventures encountered by Simon Templar as he travels west through Arizona and California, with the titles given by the locations: Arizona, Palm Springs and Hollywood.

Each story is enjoyable, without being among Charteris' best. Palm Springs and Hollywood are both detective stories. The first has a millionaire hiring the Saint as a bodyguard after receiving death threats, and the second has a film producer killed after offering the Saint the starring role in his next film. The investigative technique used in this story leaves a lot to be desired (it is partly a satire of this kind of mystery story); Simon accuses each person in turn of being the murderer - all quite plausibly - until he finds the right one.

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