20 MARCH 1915, Page 24

Pigeon Blood Rubies. By M. McD. Bodkin, K.C. (Eveleigh Nash.

6s.)—lf you really do not care for detective stories, it is useless for no to extol the deeds of Paul Beck, already famous for his skill; but if you are one of those, for the moat part serious-minded and literary people, who find in such fiction refreshing relaxation, here is a story to your liking. "The more murders, the merrier" would seem to be the author's motto, for no leas than four occur before we are halfway through the book, each one more blood-curdling than the last ; and through this web of iniquity Paul Beek and his comrades strive to defend the innocent. Away we go, villains and family secrete, footprints and bloodstains, all the time- honoured paraphernalia of crime, together with a good allowance of broken-hearted wives and idyllic love-affairs. As regards the writing of the story, we need only say that Mr. Bodkin knows exactly what is wanted : lie has no care for nicetiea of style, uses flowing, garish journalese, moves at a tremendous rate, and scarcely allows us to pause for breath on one uneventful page. 'There are certain faults in the book —a too little curbed irrelevance, too groat a dependence upon surprising coincidences, and the constructive mistake of etretching the plot to cover three generations; but we are trilling to admit that even a hardened reviewer was unable to guess the end, and, when it came, was terribly afraid to go to bed.