Another K. H. Suydam book is almost too much to expect, but here it is, and a book with a sure market, not only in the California region, but wherever travelers know and love the California missions. The text starts with a general chapter, giving the beginnings of the Spanish settlement of Alta California in the mid-18th century, and of the founding of the first missions under Juniperro Serra. The long, hard trips up and down the coast, exploration, slow filtering of settlers from Mexico. Then the early building of missions and the work under Serra, the relations between missions and Indians and Spanish governors. The balance of the book deals with the missions separately, describing their present appearance, and following their history. There are 20 in all. They are described lovingly, occasionally verging on the sentimental; the picture left by the book is vivid and picturesque; but the style is often awkward, and the author obtrudes too often. The Suydam illustrations will make this an important gift item for the Christmas trade.