Still narrated in hilariously flowery style by Brinnie--her dim, sentimental old guardian--the adventures of marmalade-haired superperson Vesper Holly continue in this fifth, but apparently not last, in the series. This time the evil mastermind, Dr. Helvetius, invades her native turf, where President Grant ("Sam," to Vesper) and the Brazilian emperor have met to open the 1876 Centennial Exposition. A lively series of kidnappings, escapes, and battles of both wit and vigorous slapstick ensues before Vesper realizes just what fiendish plot the villain is trying to hatch and how to avert it. The contrast between Brinnie's good-hearted bombast and Vesper's forthright common sense is as funny as ever. Alexander provides a note to distinguish historical fact from his clever fictions. Vastly entertaining.