This is one of Phyllis Whitney's heavily tinted mystery-suspense stories and if you stop and think-- you're really not supposed to-- it's one of her better ones. Jessica, 28, after years of bondage to a beautiful mother, comes down to the Virgin Islands and is asked to serve as a companion to Leila, a fourteen year old, about to be destroyed in an equally Electra-fying situation. Her mother, Catherine, is sheer essence of bitch, as profligate with money as she is with young men. Before long jessica realizes she must fight back, not only to save Leila but King, Leila's father, implicated in Catherine's death on a ""night of gold and red... a night of water lily and jasmine and sweetly scented cerius. The night of the shell. Columbella!"" It's for the ladies--their eyes will be dazzled, their senses doused, and their emotions, natch, engaged. Cherches les.