THE PROPERTY OF A LADY by Elizabeth Adler

THE PROPERTY OF A LADY

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

Adler, a writer just as glitzy as your Krantzes and Collinses, but with a modicum more of good sense and verisimilitude, comes up with another wide-screen romance/ intrigue in the tradition of her Peach (1987) and The Rich Shall Inherit (1989). This time, everyone is obsessed with a mystery--namely, who is the owner of a perfect, mammoth emerald, scheduled to be sold at a Christie's auction in Geneva? Cute Cal Warrender of the US National Security Council wants to know--as do steely German industrialist Ferdie Arnhaldt, and Valentin Solovsky, a dangerous, dark-eyed Russian foreign-service officer. And then there's ""almost beautiful"" Genie Reese, a TV correspondent assigned to cover the auction. She's cognizant of the gem's remarkable history--owned by the manic-depressive, spendthrift Princess Ivanoff, it was smuggled out of Russia during the Revolution. But what Genie doesn't know is that the superpowers want to find its owner because she's presumably the last Ivanoff, and therefore mistress of mines ""found to contain vast quantities of certain strategic elements essential to modern industry."" It's Cal Warrender who ultimately uncovers the secret, by listening to an ancient lady long ago beloved by Prince Misha Ivanoff and now immured in a Maryland nursing home, as she tells the tortured story of the Ivanoffs--a tale that follows a refugee princess, her loyal English companion, a borzoi named Viktor, and a nest-egg bauble from Russia to Constantinople, the streets of Lower East Side New York, and Hollywood in the 1920's. The identity of the lady will surprise only those whose minds have been wandering, but Adler's evocation of fleshpots like Manhattan and Hollywood is admirable, and she does cap things off with some fast action and suspense right before the curtain drops. In all, then, sound entertainment by a pop-fiction writer who's clearly worked hard to polish her craft.

Pub Date: Feb. 20th, 1990
ISBN: 0440613795
Publisher: Delacorte