The Greenroom

byHamilton Basso. Doubleday, $3.00.
In the glamorous environs of Nice and Cannes, Hamilton Basso spins out a small pre-war romance that is always on the verge of being bigger. By the menacing maneuvers of a baleful old Nobel Prize winning female author, a young American publisher is balked in his pursuit of the writer’s niece-by-marriage. Mr. Basso unfortunately allows both the menace and the mating to misfire just as one is being led expectantly straight up to the muzzle of the gun. One is left with an impression of high hopes, a successful atmosphere of suspense, two well-projected characters (the writer and an incidental princess), a leisured but never longdrawn pace, a writing style that is spare, see, and quietly accomplished, and of minor despair. Mr. Basso has an excellent equipment with which to say something more than he says here.