Who was she--a Galacian gypsy who enlivened the Gay Nineties as an entertainer with an international reputation (which exceeded her talent) and a high-priced tart with a preference for Jewelry and the monarchs (of Monaco, Spain, Belgium, Russia and England) who could provide the most and best. Caroline Otero was tall and pneumatic but far from statuesque, as accounts of her torrid dancing, extraordinary seductiveness and sexual endurance testify. Born in 1868, sterilized by a rape at age eleven, she was probably not a nymphomaniac, says Mr. Lewis, who has done his homework with diligence, exactitude and an infectious sympathy for the foulmouthed, goodnatured Otero. She loved her business (which also included lawsuits, Carmenat 43, and an AmericAn tent show during World War I) and her pleasure...in that order, he notes. She finally retired to Nice, devastated by gambling fever, and died in 1965. Less well-known here than Hetty Green, subject of Mr. Lewis' The Pay They Shook the Plum Tree (1963), Otero should attract the many readers who enjoy a tale of the days when demimondaines flirted and feuded in the highest Parisian circles and biggest headlines. This case history is well worth their while.