18 FEBRUARY 1928, Page 27

THE WHITE VILLA AT DINARD. By Gerard Shelley. (Gay and

Hancock. 7s. 6d.)—The best things in this book, to the reader weary of the rigours of the English winter, are the descriptions of the sunshine and gay life at Dinard. It must be confessed that the characters depicted are obvious marionettes who dance their way through life in obedience to the exigencies of the plot. We are all acquainted with the virtuous lady whose husband returns from the wilds of Africa only to be blackmailed by the confederates of a coloured lady to whom he has been united. The situation is complicated by the husband being the heir to a dukedom, and no sooner does he succeed to his strawberry leaves than the black lady appears in England and announces herself the right- ful Duchess. In spite of the lack of originality in the plot, the sunshine and gaiety of the setting are welcome at the present juncture.