Margery Allingham wrote this, her first novel, at an early age--but she came from a very literary family. It was written before she tried her hand at mystery novels. I believe both this and the following The White Cottage Mystery
(her next effort which was a mystery) have been unavailable until recently, but Bloomsbury has issued both. I am about to start the latter (which BTW is pre-Campion). So, her writing progressed from novel to mystery to Campion mysteries (for which she is famous as a member of the British Golden Age of Mystery.
"Blackkerchief Dick" gets its name from the main character (who is quite a character) who wears a black kerchief over his hair. Compared to the other characters he's quite a dandy. The novel, while set on an island frequented by smugglers is mostly about a love triangle--Blackkerchief Dick, his rival Hal, and Anny (the latter two work at The Ship). It includes a host of characters ranging from very nice to very selfish.
I found it a relatively slow read and seemingly somewhat predictable--until the end. Similar to a mystery novel, there's a twist or two there which I certainly didn't expect. The light and dark are juxtaposed with fate--including a situation reminiscent of "Hamlet" for Hal. "The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune..." apply here. This fairy tale is more Grimm's than Hans Christian Anderson's. A quote from the book is also an appropriate addition to my quotes collection: p. 214: "The Lord gave women tears that their hearts might not break every day."