This adventure/mystery is set in 18th Century Russia on a family estate during one of the peasant uprisings. The period's color and the conceivable horror of an isolated noble family at the mercy of serfs running amuck never comes up through the print. The story potential is smothered under a plot too intricate to handle. It gathers in Carrie, a transplanted American orphan of twelve; Uncle Philip, gone temporarily dotty with grief at losing his wife and daughter and who thinks Carrie is his dead child returned; the twelve-year- old Nazarov daughter; twelve-year-old cousin Nicky; a French governess waiting with French patience for Uncle Philip to recover his wits; and all the surly servants. The mystery comes along rather late -- the twelve-year-olds finally discover what the servants are muttering about and their family is whispering about. The adventure is the trip from New York to Russia and the eventual uprising -- suppressed with a big assist from twelve-year-old courage and ingenuity.