Tuesday, November 18, 2014

"The Robin Hood of modern crime"

Delighted to discover that Leslie Charteris' Saint books, many out of print, are now available for Kindle. I thought them great fun in my early teens. It will be interesting to discover whether they hold up. From Wikipedia
.... Simon Templar is a Robin Hood-like criminal known as The Saint — plausibly from his initials; but the exact reason for his nickname is not known (although we're told that he was given it at the age of nineteen). .... Blessed with boyish humour, he makes humorous and off-putting remarks and leaves a "calling card" at his "crimes", a stick figure of a man with a halo. This is used as the logo of the books, the movies, and the 1960s TV series. He is described as "buccaneer in the suits of Savile Row, amused, cool, debonair, with hell-for-leather blue eyes and a saintly smile..."

His origin remains a mystery; he is explicitly British, but in early books (e.g. Meet the Tiger) there are references that suggest he had spent some time in the U.S. battling prohibition bad guys. ....

Templar's targets include corrupt politicians, warmongers, and other low life. "He claims he's a Robin Hood", bleats one victim, "but to me he's just a robber and a hood". Robin Hood appears one inspiration for the character; Templar stories were often promoted as featuring "The Robin Hood of modern crime", and this phrase to describe Templar appears in several stories. ....