16 AUGUST 1957, Page 23

The Crime is Murder. By Helen Nielsen. (Gollancz, 12s. 6d.)

Who crisped the amorous composer by long-ago arson in cultural Lake Michigan countryside? Miss Nielsen is an elegant writer but a sloppy plotter—solution is by tape- recorder, which ought to be as inadmissible these days as the sliding panels and the arrows tipped with curare of yesteryear.