Well-paced and pithy as a mystery should be as Mike pulls the false face off a California town. He's a high-school boy new to Weatherford, arriving at his aunt's boarding-house with high hopes for family life after shifting from one foster-home to another. She's not very sentimental; in fact he has to go out and support himself, so he gets a job as cub reporter on the local paper. It's owned by the mutually antipathetic Weather sisters (Fair and April; their mansion is halved by the yellow line) and masterminded by a murderer. . . as Mike discovers while quietly executing his duties. Till he's warned to just quit investigating--and then he understands the out-of-character ""suicide"" that killed his predecessor. This slim volume recommends itself to recalcitrant readers put off by big books as well as to young precocious ones put down by the talk-down detectable in other stories of the genre.