20 MAY 1905, Page 22

The Master Mummer. By E. Phillips Oppenheim. (Ward, Lock, and

Co. 6s.)—Lively expectations of adventure are roused in the mind of the reader by a book which opens with the shooting of an old gentleman who is lunching at a, smart restaurant by a bullet from "a sort of air-gun with a wonderful compression, and a most ingenious silencer." As the murderer (who has the most excellent motives for his crime) walks calmly out of the restaurant, the silencer must have been ingenious indeed. The book, after this exciting exordium, is occupied with an account of the history and adventures of the young lady on whose behalf the murder is undertaken, a young lady whom a certain Royal (but of course foreign) Duchess has the most excellent reasons for wishing out of the way. It is a regrettable fact that this Royal lady adopts the most unscrupulous methods to rid herself of the heroine (who is her own niece), and that her evil ways are rewarded by the heroine removing herself from Royal circles by a love match at the end of the book. The story is frank melodrama, but is readable in its own particular line.