Archie Goodwin vs. Simon Templar

I’ve been reading Leslie Charteris, and being a Doper, the question naturally came up.

  1. As a Lady’s Man. They seemed pretty well tied to me, besides, Archie is occupied with Lily or whatever her name is.

  2. Fisticuffs. Again, a tough call. If the Saint threatened Wolfe, he’s a dead man. Archie frightened the snot out of a gangster who didn’t like Wolfe’s tie, or something. Otherwise, another tie.

  3. Deducting and Other Detective Stuff.
    I gotta give this one to the Saint.

I’m not familiar with the Saint books (or TV shows or movies), but I’ve read a LOT of Stout. Don’t shortchange Archie on the detective-stuff. He usually gets it before the reveal without Wolfe actually explaining it to him. He just doesn’t tell US…

I was thinking of the couple of times he quit and took on his own clients, but now that you mention it he does foreshadow the results sometimes.

Oh yeah, in this boxing story I’m reading, Templar goes to the bad guy’s house, a brownstone near the Hudson. I don’t remember Wolfe’s various addresses, save that one was actually IN the Hudson. :slight_smile:

There’s even one where Archie starts a report to Wolfe by mentioning that he’s solved the case; Wolfe doesn’t believe him; Archie eidetically relays everything he’s already narrated for us; an unimpressed Wolfe says that of course Archie solved it, given the obvious clue; you might be nodding in agreement at that point, or still frustratedly waiting for the parlor-room reveal, depending on your skills as a reader.

The Saint isn’t usually a detective. Only a few stories have him solving a mystery. Mostly he goes up against gangsters and other criminals who are already known to be bad guys.

From what little I’ve read, mostly it’s been who, why and how, but sometimes just why and how.
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I think Archie could kick Templar’s ass even without a made-up-name-gun, take any woman away from him, and figure out who done it while the Saint was still figuring out which suit to wear. :slight_smile:

As far as fisticuffs go, The Saint is pretty handy, but he also carries several concealed weapons. As an expert knife thrower, he’d have an Italian throwing knife in Archie’s throat before Archie could take a step.

Yeah, in combat, gotta give the edge to Saint. Saint never struck me as much of a detective; most of his evidence he sort-of stumbles on, or catches someone in a lie (usually the femme fatale). He does, however, IIRC, have a whole lot of criminal connections and a knowledge of the seamy side of the street that Archie would be hard-pressed to keep up with.

So:
Brains: Archie
Combat: Saint
Fairer Sex: Hard to judge.