20 MAY 1905, Page 22

The Marathon Mystery. By Burton E. Stevenson. (Harper and Brothers.

6s.) — This novel starts in the manner made famous by Gaboriau—i.e., with an inexplicable murder—and continues to follow the traditions of the same master by proving the most outwardly attractive person in the book to be the murderer. The reader's interest in the heroine is a little destroyed by the facility with which she yields to the hypnotic influence which the aforesaid murderer almost establishes over her. As at one time the man had been her sister's husband (though the marriage turned out to be bigamous), her listening for a moment to Tremain's love-making hardly tends to increase the reader's feelings of sympathy towards her. Bat it is hypercritical to insist on the finer shades of emotion in a novel of this kind. Suffice it to say that the fer-de-lance makes a very effective stage property and instrument of justice, and that the details of the story are most melodramatically worked out.