THE SAPPHIRE LOTUS by Betty Hale Hyatt


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A gush-and-plush suspense/romance, again in an exotic period setting (Ceylon) but more unkempt in plotting than The Jade Pagoda (1980). Narcissistic heroine-narrator Serena Rivett-Kydd can't resist her own ""pansy-purple eyes""; her ""creamy, satin-smooth face"" beams in on Ceylon after the mysterious death of husband Lance. (Serena was sulking in England during an estrangement.) And, arriving at her plantation home of ""Serendip,"" with beautiful Aunt Madeline, Serena meets Lance's disliked half-brother Greville, handsome and rather overpowering. So, between contemplations of Ceylon's beauty and her own, Serena asks herself questions: Why did Lance die in a sapphire mine? Why was Greville at Serendip when it happened? Could it have had something to do with the legendary necklace, ""Sapphire Lotus,"" once owned by sinister Temple prostitute Kumari? (Serena had watched Kumari die, bludgeoned by an elephant with the Lotus Sapphire in her hand.) Back at Serendip, Serena is introduced to some unpleasant neighbors, including mean gossip Joanna. Greville, meanwhile, proves to be a turn-on: ""an electrified current burned through my being."" And, after two weddings, a near-fatal tiger attack, a ghost, and an abduction, all the mysteries will be revealed. A routine stand of kiss-and-pell-mell--all in pansy-purple prose.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1983
Publisher: Doubleday