It was a sad month, only three books total. It's going to be hard to get to the 100 titles that I like to see at the end of the year.
The Saint Intervenes by Leslie Charteris has a dozen short stories in a book that was originally published in 1934 under the title Boodle. That's slang for loot and after the title was changed for the US edition it was taken for future UK editions. Five of the stories were adapted for the 1960's TV show with Roger Moore. The stories are varied and the criminals entertaining. They take a nice punch to the gut or sometimes a bullet to the belly. The Saint is often judge, jury and executioner all rolled into one. Simon Templar gets some help from his gal Patricia Holm and he thwarts Inspector Claud Eustace Teal who's always on his case. That poor cop only wants to put The Saint in jail but he's just hasn't got the smarts. Simon runs rings around him and often turns dangerous criminal into the CID. That annoys Teal and Simon likes to annoy Teal. I enjoy Charteris's short stories more than I do his novels. His short fiction has tightly written stories that move along quickly and that's something I find makes reading them a delight. I laugh more with the short stories. Some of the earlier novels have a tendency to ramble on and on. On the whole, they're all enjoyable, because of the character. I've got a whole box of Leslie's novels and collections and I've only gotten just over half re-read. I'll be taking a whack at the rest as time passes.
Thanks To The Saint by Leslie Charteris is another one from the box. It's a 1957 collection of 6 stories, 5 of which were adapted to the TV series. I enjoyed the stories, even though I had seen most of the TV episodes fairly recently. Another good variety of stories with criminals taking their punishment at the hand of The Saint. Sometimes the punishment is pretty fatal. Occasionally the stories have a bit of a darker humorous tone. In one story, I can't remember which one, The Saint tells his sidekick Hoppy to take care of a couple of the bad guy's henchmen so Hoppy takes them out on a boat, shots them, and tosses their bodies in the lake. The Saint is surprised but doesn't complain. Hoppy is a gangster from Chicago and they had a different way of doing business. The Saint thinks he must be more clear in the future when asking Hoppy to do some task. Not too much ruffles Simon Templar but he usually kill people unless they are really scummy and evil. Henchmen usually don't get shot and tossed in the lake.
Except The Dying by Maureen Jennings is the first novel featuring Detective William Murdock of the Toronto Constabulary. Murdock Mysteries is a series of novels set in 1895 Toronto. Murdock is a Catholic in a city that's run by Protestants. He's often looked down for that reason but he's a smart guy who gains some respect for his solid detecting skills and scientific knowledge. Murdock is called out to see the dead body of a young woman found in an alley. Murdock's boss Inspector Brackenreid thinks she's a prostitute and she just died of exposure. He thinks they shouldn't bother spending any time on her case. Murdock thinks it could be murder and as he digs into the case the details unearthed make him pretty sure he's right. The novel was adapted into a 2004 TV movie well worth watching. Both are dark and rather gritty. There were three movies made before they stopped production. There are several more Murdock novels and 7 episodes of a TV series to check out too.
I'd recommend all these books but it might be harder to find The Saint books. I don't know, I stopped looking for them once I had a box full. The Murdock book I got from the library. I'm not sure I will bother with the rest of them but they are still on my library queue. It's hard enough to keep up with the books I have, that haven't read, or want to re-read, without adding more to the piles. At least when you borrow a book, it goes away after you read it, and it doesn't just sit there, waiting for you to make a decision about it's fate.