Books: Charm & Chill

DEVIL BY THE SEA (224 pp.)—Nina Bawden—Lippincott ($3.50).

Girt with a boyish garb for boyish task,

Eager she wields her spade: yet loves as well

Rest on a friendly knee, intent to ask

The tale he loves to tell.

That is how nymphet-nuzzling Victorian Lewis (Alice in Wonderland) Carroll evoked a little girl's seaside idyl. The lines might well apply to nine-year-old Hilary Bray and her discovery, in Devil by the Sea, that little girls who walk along the shore can expect to find more than sand castles. The friendly knee that innocent Hilary encounters is the shank of an old derelict whom she...

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