Margaret Binton, New York's intrepid West Side senior-citizen/sleuth, is going it alone this time, with only peripheral help from her little band of less adventurous friends (Deadly Climate, etc.). Margaret's volunteer hospital work has led to her temporary foster care of 15-month-old Eric--white, healthy, and eminently adoptable. Helen Regency, director of Youth Benevolent Association, which will place Eric with adoptive parents, doesn't exactly hit it off with Margaret, and so after meeting Regency's choice--rich, arrogant Susan and Victor Lazarre--Margaret decides on a few delaying tactics. She has developed a nagging suspicion that all is not aboveboard at the agency and, with help from reporter friend Peter Ryker, begins to uncover a well-hidden baby-selling scheme. A pawnshop in Harlem, an indiscreet grandmother, and, before long, threats on her life confirm her fears. Then the murder of Regency brings protective Lieutenant Morely into the picture, but it's sheer luck that saves Margaret for a dramatic confrontation with the killer, complete with eyewitness. Barth keeps sentiment in check and treats some gritty topical problems with restraint--in a well-paced, warmhearted story that should delight his fans and make some new ones.