Unknown to most of us prior to the e-book era are the many still readable mystery, adventure and thriller authors whose books are still readable with no apologies for their age. I suppose this book would be best categorized as a rather mild thriller-adventure in which indomitable English pluck and decency triumph over aristocratic English boorishness, degeneracy and sheer nastiness. The conflict between decency and degeneracy are, however, carried on with moderation and treated by the author with a subdued wittiness characteristic of much English writing of the period. No James Bond nor his many enemies here. Since there is no Amazon precis, let me describe the basic conflict for you. Of necessity, this may reveal a bit more of the first sections of the book than I like. A British Colonel, no longer on active duty although, apparently, in early middle age by our current reckoning), is on a train in Europe in which the only other passengers are a young woman, her maid-servant, and a wrapped bundle, together with luggage, and a not-quite-right looking gentleman. It soon appears that the gentleman is seeking an audience with the young woman which she appears very reluctant to allow. He steps in to protect the woman, although from overhearing a conversation before the journey began, he believes her to be a thief or something else of dubious social status. He is an officer and gentleman, therefore, whatever may be her shortcomings, he comes to the defense of, could you have any doubt, the very attractive young women. At some point subsequent to this initial encounter, he learns that the gentleman (who is not a gentleman) is an agent for an Aristocrat out to retrieve something of great value from the young woman.
There then commence a game of hide and seek, played out while traveling around Europe, by the forces of the Aristocrat and the Colonel's protectees. Who shall win the conflict?
I believe the easily read volume will appeal to the average reader of Buchan novels. There is no mystery but there is a good chase and more boorishness than outright violence. The heroine is fully a match for the hero, their relationship ripens but never becomes one of superior-inferior, as it might well have been. Over-all, the book recounts a contest between decency and malignancy.