A minor concoction set--irrelevantly but unhelpfully--in England. Lionel's parents are anthropologists presently in Ethiopia, so he and 15-year-old sister Linnet are in the care of Grandpa, a motorcycle freak. Lionel himself is a spy-freak--who's suspicious now of newcomer Mr. Shakespeare next door. Suppose the stains in the clothing Mr. S. took to the cleaner are blood stains? Suppose (for no reason either) old Mrs. Bannister, the house's previous occupant, is not dead but a prisoner--because she's onto Mr. S.? There's a foul-up with some indignant neighbors--occasioned by both Lionel's obtrusive spying and Grandpa's noisy cycling--and then we learn, out of the blue, that some of Mr. S.'s apparent secretiveness (""I'm going to destroy everything"") has reference to old Miss Bannister's having once been a spy and some has reference to his own occupation, manufacturing Garments for Grandpas (which Lionel's grandpa would never forgive him for). It moves--but that's about the best that can be said for it.