A mildly comic sendup echoing bits of Sax Rohmer, the Hardy Boys and John Wayne, and a change from the author's usual 20's milieu (Death in a Deck Chair; Murder in a Mummy Case). Tough-tender Maude Cavendish is orphaned, divorced from charming rouÃ‰ Nicky (a daring move in 1913), and writes a society column for the San Francisco Globe. She's also raising adolescent brother George, an Eagle Boy Scout who sees spies everywhere. But George is, as usual, smarter than the adults around him. There is a German plot brewing, centered in Arizona, to get the US embroiled in a war with Mexico that will keep the US out of the conflict in Europe. Essential to its success is the help of Stanford U. scientist Dr. Arbor, whose daughter Louise is kidnapped to insure his cooperation, after an initial booboo in which Maude was captured instead. Eventually Maude, Louise, and George are joined in the desert by suave Baron Gustau Wechsler, who's Czech, not German, and young flier Tommy Cutter, in the daring rescue of Dr. Arbor and the defeat of the dastardly, grandiloquent scheme. Pretty silly stuff, but the pace is fast, the crew colorful, and it all translates into moviedom even as you read. Suspend belief and enjoy.