19 DECEMBER 1885, Page 24

The Fate of the' Black Swan.' By F. Frankfort Moore.

(S.P.C.K.) —Mr. Moore has no small claims to have, if not a chief, at all events a good, place among the tellers of sea-stories. It is true that his space is more than half spent before he gets in sight of New Guinea (in which he professes to locate his story) ; but there is plenty of sea adventure, fire, and collision, for instance, to keep up our interest as we go. And once arrived at the scene of action, no one can complain of want of incident. This is a fresh and vigorous story. A Woman of Business. By M. E. Bramston. (S.P.C.K.)—This is a good story, with genuine substance, and a fresh, unhackneyed sub- ject. Nettie Raymond, a girl brought up in ease and refinement, takes charge of a toy-shop which furnishes the chief income of her mother and her half-sisters, and having clever fingers, a taste for pretty things, and an inventive brain, does well. The " business," however, is not the whole, perhaps not the chief part, of the story. There are two love affairs, Nettie's own (for it is as it should be, and the business has to give way to marriage), and her sister Muriel's, and both are well told. The characters are well drawn, the mother, a Mrs. Nickleby of real life, being perhaps the best.