The ""rich boy, poor boy"" is Pat McGill from Ireland who is visiting his wealthy American relatives and commutes between an island owned by his grandmother in Long Island Sound and a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut, where the more snobbish branch of the family reside. Janey Murray a ""poor"" neighbor of the Barrows' clan and Pat strike up a warm friendship and later when Pat is accused of stealing some heirloom buttons from his grandmother, it is with Janey's help and ingenuity that he is able to trace down an assortment of clues involving a melange of characters until they recover the treasure. Naturally a shipwreck is included in which Pat and Janey save the Barrows' ""spoiled brats"" and win their undying gratitude. The shift of values the author has not determined for himself is dizzying and leaves us with a muddied and muddied impression. The Catholic school Janey attends and some talk of Saints are the only religious allusions. Most unsatisfactory fare, for a well-known writer of adult mysteries.