A taut exuberant mystery wastes no words, yet creates an aura of relentless suspense as it follows the trials and tribulations of Mona Delaney on route to Iran. First stop was Genoa where 17 year old Mona was scheduled to meet her uncle before boarding the freighter for her final destination. The shocking discovery of her uncle's death and the subsequent ransacking of his room by a young Italian stranger (Faustino) start Mona on her strange adventure. A fortune in rubies is the object of this search and when Mona finds them, she heads straight for the ship, followed by Faustino who lands a job as deck steward. A note from her uncle indicates that the inheritance is to be divided between Mona and an adopted son, Johnny Sabena. The second heir boards the ship with his sinister mother at Port Said and from here on, it is Mona's task to distinguish friend from enemy. How she accomplishes this and at the same time retrieves the precious gems, stolen from her, create an intricate pattern embossed by the local color of strange ports and people. With minimum verbiage and maximum action, the author of The Leather Hand (1961, p. 221 J-107) offers another spine tingling entertainment.