This combines two factors useful in making a book popular. It has romance against a glamorous setting: it is a character expose of the sort of person most people know. To be sure, the romance turns out to be a holiday idyll, with too realistic an ending for comfort. And the aging writer, who has managed to cut herself off from all normal, human contacts by her dramatics, her insistence on the limelight, even if it means creating scenes in which all others are cast as villains, is -- in the end -- a stock character, more than usually well conceived and carried through to the bitter end. Jackson, an editor in a New York publishing house, is assigned one problem job on his holiday in the south of France -- the ascertaining of the delivery of the manuscript of a famous novelist's memoirs. (Readers will be inclined to guess her identity, she has many of the qualifications that would suggest, perhaps, an Edith Wharton.) The story has considerable charm in the telling and makes though not important reading.