July 21, 1980 12:00 PM

by Gregory McDonald

Eight-year-old Toby is put on a flight from New York to California, where his mother will meet him. When he doesn’t arrive, his father, a U.N. ambassador from an absolute monarchy, gets a phone call; he’s told to defy the king’s orders on an important resolution or the boy will die. The irreverent journalist Fletch from McDonald’s earlier fiction is absent, but this thriller is equally slick, funny and sinister. (Putnam, $9.95)

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