Case and Jen (of Split Sisters, 1986) return in a fast-paced story that combines Case's search for approval with a suspense-filled subplot. Changes abound in the family: a new neighborhood, new friends, and--most important--Meredith: a new baby whose constant, colicky crying drives cartoonist-stepfather Gerry out of the house to draw at an office, necessitating the hiring of strange but competent Charlene as babysitter. Meanwhile, Case continues to be her thoroughly individual 12-year-old self. This leads to trouble with her English teacher, who insists that Case follow rules--a concept Case finds hard to absorb, which results in tense rifts with her proper mother. Jen, involved in her own problems with boys, is also less than understanding as Case tries to cope with her feelings of being unappreciated and her suspicions about Charlene. But when baby Meredith and Charlene disappear, it's Case's determination and powers of observation that save the day. With Case telling the story in a warmly humorous voice, Adler creates a believable character in an involving, well-turned plot. A page-turner with something to say about the value and consequences of marching to one's own drummer.