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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars More Saintly hi-jinks, 11 Nov 2013
This review is from: The Saint in Action (Saint 17) (Paperback)
I've always found this to be one of the better books of the Saint canon. It's a collection of three stories and an episode I found particularly intriguing is in 'The Unlicensed Victuallers', where the Saint is in a pub and buys a round of drinks for everyone in the bar, paying for it with a ten shilling note (50p in today's money). We're then told that he scooped up his change before walking out! Happy days indeed when you could buy a round of drinks for a bar-full of customers for less than fifty pence. This book was written in 1937; even so, I wouldn't have thought drinks would have been that cheap. But there you go; this was way before my time.

On a grimmer note, it's at the end of this story that Templar subjects the gang of villains to a particularly merciless and horrific end. It's enough to cause a shudder just thinking about it. I can't imagine Roger Moore's Saint behaving in this fashion.

All in all, an excellent book, even if modern readers will find these stories - and indeed, all of the Saint stories - very far-fetched. But who cares? The Saint stories are meant to be fun. And that's exactly what they are. Enjoy!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Saint Saga Nş 17, 27 Oct 2011
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Paul Magnussen (Campbell, CA USA) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Saint in Action (Paperback)
This book — originally entitled The Ace of Knaves, from 1937 — comprises three short novels (or novellas).

"The Spanish War" is in fact the Civil War, and the story concerns a scheme to finance Franco with forged bonds.

The background is, as usual, accurate. Charteris was actually in the Canary Islands when Franco was there plotting with the Germans. At that time, the British government was bent on appeasement (or more accurately, as subsequently declassified documents now show, active collaboration). But the author (as shown by the Saint's embittered opening speech, which — characteristically — also manages to embrace the British licensing laws) was a fan of neither Franco nor Hitler. Charteris (along with Tolkien and H.J. Eysenck) was one of those known later as "premature anti-Nazis".

In "The Unlicensed Victuallers", the Saint deals drastically with smugglers, and in "The Beauty Specialist" with a particularly vicious blackmailer. These two stories are somewhat grimmer than usual, but the last especially is among my favourites.

Hoppy Uniatz figures prominently, and Pat, Orace, Peter and Claud Eustace are all here.

But... "The Saint in Action"? Are there any stories where he spends the whole time lying in bed?

P.S. For a list of all Charteris's Saint books (in two sections, because of length limitations) see my Listmanias.
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The Saint in Action (Saint 17)
The Saint in Action (Saint 17) by Leslie Charteris (Paperback - 29 Aug 2013)
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