Iolani Stevenson, a poor little Hawaiian rich girl who found her mother murdered (by her father?) and was quickly sent to live with sadistic Aunt Berta in Boston, ran away with the Gypsies at age twelve. Now, years later, she freezes when she sees a San Francisco society page announcement for a fundraising ball in Hawaii hosted by--herself and Aunt Berta! Imposture is indicated, and so is a return to the islands--especially after a botched attempt on her life. Lani writes her adopted brother Kore about her plans and, back in Hawaii, is hired on as secretary to Wade Masterson, the main man in charge of the Stevenson family estate and its private island, Maunaloa. Much to Lani's shock, the first person she sees there is long-since-disappeared Kote: what is he up to? Does he know the impostor? Who is trying to kill Lani's little half-sister Maile, or frighten her to death? And which of her three suitors should lovely Lani choose--Kore, Wade, or his more flip and harum-scarum photographer cousin Jason? Hawaiian superstitions, food, and local color add spice to a generally undistinguished return of the missing heiress tale.