5 DECEMBER 1885, Page 25

The Mystery of Allan Grale. By Isabella Fyvie Mayo. (Bentley.)

—This is not a bad novel, as novels of the kind and of the period go. Miss (or Mrs.) Mayo writes with very much more than ordinary Care; and she does not trouble her readers with slang or realism. We have here nearly all the "properties" that go to the making of a good plot of the old-fashioned and essentially melodramatic sort,—a murder (in addition to a hundred other mysteries), the wrong man suspected of being the murderer, the wrong man declared by a coroner's jury to be the victim, a Black Pool, and an abundance of the affairs of the heart. But The Mystery of Allan Grate is spun out to an unconscionable length, and if its author must take us to Scotland for her scenes, she ought really to give us some distinctive local colouring.