Ships, the sea and sailing men absorb this prolific explorer among the strange disasters and mysteries of the sea. In this new volume (he has perhaps a dozen or more to his credit) he goes back to the mystery of the Scandinavian adventurers -- and down to Lynn Kauffman's 1959 ""suicide"" fall from the deck of the Utrecht off Boston Harbor. In between there are some twenty odd tales of missing mariners, disappearing ships, naval disasters and murder. The research is sound and Snow is by now a recognized authority on the New England coastal region. But to the virtues of authenticity are added the vices of poor selection and arrangement. His own enthusiasm is often thinned out by too much irrelevant detail and a lack of sense of climax. The appeal- with references to local gentry in the Massachusetts area in particular- should be largely to New Englanders.