In her third adventure, Vesper Holly engages her adversaries, with her usual flamboyant Amazonian style, in a small Balkan country. As before, the story is narrated by the bemused and confused Brinnie Garrett, Vesper's guardian. When Brinnie and his wife Mary accept an invitation to the Duchess of Drackenberg's Diamond Jubilee, they are plunged into a plot involving a takeover attempt from neighboring Carpatia. In short order, the Garretts and Vesper find themselves mixed up with Gypsies, a kidnapping, and the discovery of an unknown Leonardo portrait of a 15th-century member of the ruling family who bears an uncanny resemblance to Vesper. Helvitius, Vesper's former antagonist, is again the villain; and, once again, Vesper saves the day while Brinnie bumbles through--and Helvitius escapes, to reappear (no doubt) in the future adventures promised at the conclusion. Alexander has set up an entertaining formula, and he follows it effectively. Readers will find familiar elements--Brinnie's unconscious humor is especially welcome. Followers of the Westmark series may also find comic echoes of its sober political themes. A happy addition to the Alexander oeuvre.