A lower Fifth Avenue apartment house in New York City and the very human Czechoslovakian immigrant family who runs it are the makings for a young mystery novel that's a good average for its course. When Meri, superintendent Novak's daughter decides to quit high school and start earning money for art school, she's persuaded by her parents and a new schoolmate Tanya, to finish her last term at Knickerbocker- and finds herself enjoying school and its activities more every day. She has time to draw everything and everyone around her- even a stealthy character she has noticed on the street. And when Mr. Bankoff, the character, is captured cracking a tenant's safe, Meri's recognition in the case, and a scholarship she wins at school, guarantee the art career she wants. City atmosphere and understanding of D.P. problems give a strong social appeal.