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Simon Templar is the Saint—daring, dazzling, and just a little disreputable. On the side of the law, but standing outside it, he dispenses his own brand of justice one criminal at a time.
When the Saint and Patricia spot a country house on fire they rush to help, but are too late to rescue one man trapped inside. The dead man's door was locked, and Simon concludes there's a murder to be answered for, despite the coroner ruling otherwise. He launches his own investigation—getting engaged along the way—and soon gets caught up with generals, financiers, and an assassination plot designed to start a war.
First published on the verge of war in 1938, The Saint Plays with Fire is a striking condemnation of nationalism and the prejudices that both Charteris and the Saint despised.
Leslie Charteris was born in Singapore and moved to England in 1919. He left Cambridge University early when his first novel was accepted for publication. He wrote novels about the Saint throughout his life, becoming one of the 20th century's most prolific and popular authors.