Another of Holt's romance-upholstered loungers, set in lamplit London and the steamy exotica of Ceylon. Sarah Ashington, daughter of beautiful actress Irene and her estranged Ceylon-tea-planting husband, is forced (after Irene's career declines because of a scandal) to live with her mother in the Ashington family mansion outside London, presided over by two stern maiden aunts. Then her mother dies mysteriously, and Sarah's dying father returns to England, accompanied by his friend, the arrogant Clinton, owner of a neighboring plantation. Mesmerized into a marriage with the overpowering Clinton, Sarah leaves her aunts, governess Celia (who had become her friend), and her beloved Toby, a former tutor who declared his love too late. Sarah accompanies Clinton to Ceylon and her father's plantation, where she meets: a half-sister and her husband who had expected the estate to be left to them; Celia on tour; and a passel of inscrutable Ceylonese, including Clinton's mistress. Soon danger lurks, of course, and featured prominently are the Ashington family pearls--an exquisite set endowed with the inevitable curse--which disappear during a kidnapping, reappear in lover-enemy Clinton's hands, and after other attempts to dispose of Sarah fail, are to be the instrument of the last murder attempt. The London scenes have the familiar bustle, but the Ceylon stretches are littered with untidy red herrings; so--a staple from the shop, not the quality goods.