Alexandre Dumas, author of The Three Musketeers and so many sequels, all but invented the action adventure novel, and certainly he has few peers in all the years since. His stories are thrilling works of derring-do, foul deeds, close escapes, and glorious victories. In this third volume of his Celebrated Crimes, Dumas tells the tale of Mary Queen of Scots, a woman who suffered a violent death, and around whose name an endless controversy has waged. Dumas goes carefully into the dubious episodes of her stormy career, but does not allow these to blind his sympathy for her fate. Mary, it should be remembered, was closely allied to France by education and marriage, and the French never forgave Elizabeth the part she played in the tragedy. This book was not written for children. Dumas has minced no words in describing the violent scenes of a violent time. In some instances facts appear distorted out of their true perspective, and in others the author makes unwarranted charges. The careful, mature reader -- for whom the books are intended -- will recognize and allow for this fact.