Who knows what will pop up under the dry-rotting floorboards or a rosebush outside the house that Lydia Timms owns and is trying to put in shape with a crowbar or a claw-hammer? Perhaps even a spy in the basement. Since two floors have been let to the Livonian government--one of those amorphous Balkan states--represented by ""harmless old dreamers"" in exile . . . or are ""their dreams nightmares""? Their charlady, on the tipple, has recently died but her body does not stay put and there's a reversal of roles, political, of almost everyone excluding the deceased's daughter who is a most attractive ""embodied impulse"" even though she's in jail. Peter Dickinson upstages almost everyone around with his distinctively different, stylish and literate entertainments and just one word will do--exceptional.