Matt Forney
Spread the Word!

The Saint Versus Scotland Yard by Leslie Charteris

saint-versus-scotland-yardThe Saint Versus Scotland Yard is almost worth reading for its intro alone. My edition in the book includes a short note from Leslie Charteris, “Between Ourselves,” explaining his rationale for continuing to write Saint novels and savaging his critics:

But you may still read of the Saint. He will at least entertain you. For his philosophy—and mine—is happy. You will be bored with no dreary introspections about death and doom, as in the work of your dyspeptic little Russians. You will not find him gloating interminably over the pimples on his immortal soul, as do the characters of your septic little scribblers in Bloomsbury.

Hoo boy, that’s cold. While reading this, I thought back to Roy Campbell’s invective against the Bloomsbury Group and smiled.

The Saint Versus Scotland Yard (also known as The Holy Terror) is a collection of three interlinked stories, continuing the adventures of Simon Templar. As the title suggests, the stories involve the Saint running afoul of the law more so then usual as he exacts his particular variety of vigilante justice:

“He may be an amateur, as I keep telling you, but he’s efficient. Long before his house started to fall to pieces on me, he’d begun to make friendly attempts to bump me off. That was because he’d surveyed all the risks before he started in business, and he figured that his graft was exactly the kind of graft that would make me sit up and take notice. In which he was darned right. I just breezed in and proved it to him. He told me himself that he was unmarried; I wasn’t able to get him to tell me anything about his lawful affairs, but the butcher told me that he was supposed to be ‘something in the City’—so I acquired two items of information. I also verified his home address, which was the most important thing; and I impressed him with my own brilliance and charm of personality, which was the next most important. I played the perfect clown, because that’s the way these situations always get me, but in the intervals between laughs I did everything that I set out to do. And he knew it—as I meant him to.”

Overall, The Saint Versus Scotland Yard is another good Saint book and worth buying if you’re read previous books in the series.

Click here to buy The Saint Versus Scotland Yard.

Read Next: Enter the Saint by Leslie Charteris