Since her mother's death, 11-year-old Penny had lived with Aunt Dorry and Uncle , visited as often as possible by her father, a traveling importer of Oriental art. Now, unwrapping the Japanese scroll painting he had sent only a few days before, Penny could hardly believe that her father, too, was dead -- killed in a plane crash off the North Koren coast. But moving into a two-family house and making new friends helped relieve Penny's grief, though only gradually did she become aware of the strange and persistent interest which the other occupants of the house were showing in her scroll. So assistant did the Carruthers become in their efforts to borrow it for their museum that Penny began to suspect the painting contained some secret message. With Uncle Jeff's help he not only uncovered the message, but a Communist spy ring as well. Wildly improbable, suspenseful enough to satisfy mystery-loving younger readers.