Gr 4-6 Ten-year-old Alice Whipple suspects the art teacher at her posh Manhattan private school of being a thief and smuggler of art objects. Alice has a vivid imagination and suspects everyone, but most of her convoluted crime scenarios prove false. Her skeptical friends reluctantly help her crack the case. The book is slightly satiric about yuppie life and tries very hard for comedy-suspense, but it does not succeed. Alice's wild theories and the many plot twists are never as funny as they should be. Alice and her friends never come alive, and the roller coaster pace won't carry readers along. Florence M. Brems, Huntingdon Valley Librabrary, Pa.