cover image Double Bucky Shang/

Double Bucky Shang/

Alice Bach / Author, Richard Bach / Author Yearling Books $2.9

Bach's Phreakers series, of which this is the first title, has both problems and potential. The premisethat best friends Stanwyck and Jess use ""phreaking'' (breaking into other computer systems via a modem hook-up) to solve crimesis plausible. Stanwyck convinces Jess that there is a pattern to some robberiesalmost every family with a daughter at the Benchley School for Girls has been hit. When the police don't believe them, Jess and Stanwyck (and Stanwyck's computer) go to work. The phreaker slang and computerese is quick, catchy and hip; even computer illiterates will have fun with that and Jess's tongue-in-cheek narration. But the mysteries should probably be more complicatedreaders, without computers, will figure it out before the heroines do. Ages 10-14. (August)