The career, from the late Twenties to the early Forties, of film-star Dawn Avalon, nâ€še Queenie Kelley--based, with unimaginative tackiness and coyly convoluted murkiness, on the life of Merle Oberon, nâ€še Queenie O'Brien. (Oberon was briefly the wife of Korda's famous uncle Alexander.) As in the shoddy Oberon bio by Higham & Moseley (1983), the Queenie here is forever haunted by her semi-secret Anglo-Indian heritage: she grows up in Calcutta, enchants white men with her light-skinned teenage beauty, is sneered at as a ""bloody little chee-chee""--and flees at last to England with her incestuously smitten Uncle Morgan after they conspire to steal a diamond bracelet from Morgan's nasty white mistress. But Depression-era London is a grim disappointment for Queenie, especially when Uncle M. rapes her. She does at last start climbing toward success, as a nightclub ""exotic""; and when Morgan threatens to ruin things with his dark-skinned presence, she accidentally kills him---a secret which some show-biz slimies will use to blackmail Queenie over the years that follow. Her first great love is cameraman Lucien Chambrun, who fashions her image in magazines and in the screen-test for Hungarian/British movie-king David Konig. Lord Konig gives her a new screen-name, the wedded security of wealth and position, but no sex-thrills; he enrages Queenie/Dawn by selling part of her contract to slimy US mogul Braverman (i.e., Goldwyn) but then--unlike Korda in real life--conveniently dies. And the later chapters here, slogging slowly from 1939 to the mid-1940s, are a dense mishmash of Oberon-iana and miscellaneous roman clef trivia: Dawn stars in a GWTW-like blockbuster; she gets slightly involved with the scandals of a secretly homosexual British actor, whose wife commits suicide; she fends off rape by a Selznick type; she has major cosmetic surgery; she has tiresome wrangles with assorted studio heads; and she lovingly weds Prince Charles Corsini--but her paranoia about The Past leads her to betray him, unintentionally causing his plane-crash death. (Oberon's great love, Count Giorgio, died likewise.) The second half of this sleazy, overlong assemblage seems, understandably enough, to bore Korda himself--who then sums up Queenie's last 30 years in four pages. And ""half-caste woman"" Queenie remains both un-charismatic and unsympathetic throughout. But the novel's first half does have some rags-to-riches brio, some bi-cultural intrigue; and, though those who admired the classy sparkle of Charmed Lives and Worldly Goods will be disappointed, you can probably count on a solid commercial showing--thanks to the Korda clout, the (rather faded) Oberon allure, and the family-grave-robbing angle.