In Rome the Saint is due to meet Tony, a journalist friend anxious to tell him about a man who 'liked lions' but Tony is found dead, stabbed with a knife carved with a lion's head. Claudia, Tony's girlfriend, tells the Saint that Tony's diary should contain a clue as to the reason for his murder but other addressees in the diary are also dying off. Eventually the Saint meets Tiberio, the self-confessed man who liked lions and clearly the head of an illegal organization. He invites the Saint to a Roman costume party where his aim is, literally, to feed the Saint to the lions.
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