LESLIE CHARTERIS – The Saint and the Templar Treasure. Doubleday Crime Club, hardcover, 1979. UK edition: Hodder & Stoughton, hardcover, 1979. Developed by Graham Weaver from comic strips by Donne Avenelle.

LESLIE CHARTERIS The Saint and the Templar Treasure

   It isn’t any secret, but let’s give credit where credit is due. Few if any of the adventures of Simon Templar that have appeared in recent years have actually been written by Leslie Charteris. The title page says this one was the collaborative effort of Donne Avenell and Graham Weaver [see above] but (as I understand it) under Charteris’s close, keen-eyed supervision.

   The countryside in Treasure is authentically French, and the year is 1945, without a doubt a vintage one for Saintly activities. And just one sip will tell you that the flavor is unmistakably the heady one of Simon Templar’s younger days, filled to the brim with the sheer intoxicating joy of partaking in carefree adventure.

   A vineyard is in trouble. It could hardly be coincidence that the chateau is also possessed of a curse handed down since the days of our hero’s Templar forebears, and take a hand in it he must.

   Make no mistake about it, this is no whodunit in the traditional sense. Even if there were no word as “insouciant” to describe the Saint’s approach to detective work, the overwhelming need for its invention requires no further evidence than this.

— Reprinted from The MYSTERY FANcier, Vol. 3, No. 6, Nov/Dec 1979 (slightly revised).