Friday, 17 August 2001

Leslie Charteris: The Saint Around the World (1957)

Edition: Hodder & Stoughton, 1961
Review number: 911

This collection, concluding a mid-fifties jet-setting theme in the Saint saga, literally does take Simon Templar around the world, starting in Bermuda, working through Europe and Asia to Vancouver Island. They include what may be the worst of all Leslie Charteris' Saint stories as well as the last case for Simon's old sparring partner, Chief Inspector Teal.

The best of the stories is a little murder myster set on the famous naturist island of Hyeres; also enjoyable is the silly story about dowsing for oil in Arabia, The Lovelorn Sheikh. The final story is the poorest, mainly because of the B-movie Russian villain (all "Russian engineers invented [a part in an aeroplane engine], but it was stolen by Henry Ford's spies"), but also because it trades shamelessly on the past glories of the series, introducing a girl who is the unknown child of Norman Kent, who sacrificed himself to save his friends in The Last Hero. A sad end to an enjoyable collection.

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