18 JUNE 1927, Page 38

SHEPHERD'S PIE. By Owen Archer. (Lane. is. 6( 1 . This novel

on the problem of the childless marriage is laekt in incident and is needlessly long. But it has strong, 1011",.,. dialogue and some good situations. Brian Shepherd. I", belongs to one of the best English families, fancies hi'," impervious to feminine charm. When, however, he is fat', with having to decline a coveted headmastership unless,! marries, he induces his cousin Daphne, whose true lover died, to enter into a platonic union. Difficulties, of course, soon arise, and the story follows the tangle of suspicion, misunderstanding, and scandal that has to be unravelled before Brian and Daphne turn their nominal marriage into a real one. The characters, which include a benevolent uncle and a mischievous woman of the predatory type, are -well drawn, and Mr. Archer's analysis is on the whole convincing.