Lizzie Firkin is a songwriter whose successful career includes playing the trombone at a nightclub. Understandably, housework suffers ("The cat was curled up in the breadbox, asleep on the sliced bread. . .The vacuum cleaner sulked. . .its cord wound sadly around itself, like a dog that has given up hope of ever being taken for a walk"). But no problem: Robin Puckertucker can be hired to set everything to rights. Like many another slapdash housekeeper faced with an audience, however, Lizzie feels compelled to do a little something before Robin shows up--with the result that, to his disappointment, there's nothing left to do when he comes. Still, this is a Mahy book: not only are these predictable events described with unique wit, but there's a surprise conclusion that perfectly suits the characters she has skillfully set up. Smith's comic, loosely drawn illustrations, washed in gentle, forgiving colors, are delightfully full of the details of Lizzie's comfortable disarray and frantic shaping up.