The Jade Dragon is a statuette eerily involved with the fortunes of an ancient Portuguese family, the Milavieras, into which orphaned English Elinor insinuates herself. Elinor meets her hostile and hitherto unknown grandmother and other odd kin; but before long her legs ""feel boneless"" in the jaw-thrusting presence of widowed Stafford whose wife died a cloudy death. Other matters while away the time -- Elinor is nearly flattened by a candelabra and scattered by an explosive, and grandmother's stubborn jaw thrusts forward as far as Stafford's. It all ends in a fire and the demise of the house's evil demon. Foolish.