Hodder’s crime and thriller imprint Mulholland Books is bringing the Saint books by Leslie Charteris [pictured] back into print, and making them available as e-books for the first time in the UK.
Mulholland Books editor Ruth Tross acquired British Commonwealth rights, excluding Canada, in the 35 titles from Jane Gelfman of Gelfman Schneider New York. They all feature the debonair sleuth, Simon Templar, nicknamed “the Saint” because of his initials—and likened by Tross to Robin Hood, “master of disguise, always getting in and out of scraps”. The series was made into a televsion programme in the 1960s featuring Roger Moore in the title role.
The first batch of titles will be released on 6th December, with Enter the Saint, The Saint Closes the Case, The Avenging Saint and Featuring the Saint all published in e-book and paperback, priced £8.99. Mulholland will then release four or five titles each month through to July 2013.
The books will each have new introductions by other thriller writers and Saint fans, with the introduction to Enter the Saint to be written by Patricia Charteris-Higgins, the author’s daughter. Ian Dickerson, who runs The Saint fan club and moderates a number of Saint internet forums, is also in the process of compiling extra material to run in the e-books, to give the novels context.
Tross said: “The Saint has always been published by Hodder.
"So while it made sense for us to do this through Mulholland, because we have that focus on crime, we wanted to keep it within Hodder. I think all publishers are moving towards looking at backlists, and the advantage digital gives us to get those to a new audience. There is a serious group of people who are mad keen fans of the original TV series, and also a whole generation of fans who are aware of the character, but not the source material.”
On the look of the series, Tross said: “It is going to have a fairly consistent branding image, using the stick man with the halo and gun. Certainly in series publishing it is going to have a strong style and image across the whole series that the reader will recognise across all the titles. I think lots of people will recognise the image already, perhaps some without knowing exactly why.”