There are some elements to this story which might have made it an excellent mystery for teenage girls. There is international intrigue (Cuban) involving problems more serious than the usual who -stole-the-necklace, and there is an investigation of the emotions affecting the daughter of divorced parents. Ronnie Stewart is spending her Christmas vacation in Florida with her father and her stand-offish step-mother. Much of the time she is on her own at the beach with her assigned reading of Hamlet, in which she draws some parallels to her own life. The first indication that something really is rotten right on home territory occurs when she discovers a strange woman living in a supposedly deserted house. Through an extremely far-fetched accident, Ronnie gets heaved on board a boat manned by Cuban smugglers and finds that she will have to make the trip with them. She is protected by a handsome, romantic young man who speaks to her of his radical, pro-Castro idealism, later tempered by his father's secret opposition to Communism. The adventure (there really doesn't seem to be any mystery despite the title) resolves in how to get the girl smuggled back to the States. With her return the parental situation is cleared up in haphazard fashion, and the whole trip takes on an air of a pleasant Caribbean cruise with the added attraction of danger.