A solid history of that awesome institution, Scotland Yard, sets to with the view of London from 1050 to 1600, the birth of Bow Street station in the 17th Century, predecessor to the Yard. The book divides into old, new and modern police, but is handled mainly through the incumbencies of commissioners, with the Fieldings, the great Peel, ""King"" Mayne, Lords Byng and Trenchard among them. There is some sense of changing problems in an evolving city, of the relation between Parliament and police force -- as we witness both some lurid crimes and the growth of the fuatitution designed to counter them. There is indication too of attitudes onward crimes- the McNaughten case comes up -- and relation of the Yard to local police. The approach does not yield to the appetite of the American popular crime audience and seems to belong in the hands of the connoisseur of criminal history.