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by Victoria Holt

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1991
ISBN: 0-385-41949-X
Publisher: Doubleday

 All hail to octogenarian, pseudonymous Eleanor Hibbert (Victoria Holt/Jean Plaidy/Philippa Carr) on the occasion of her 30th Holt novel of romantic suspense! Though this tale of an actress's daughter and her tribulations is not up to Holt's suspenseful best, who cares? Certainly not her large following, who look forward to such as: a variety of impressive digs (here, late- 19th-century Kent, Cornwall, London, and Paris), at least two of which give the feisty heroine a shiver of apprehension and a buzz of secrets--plus a murder and a shadowy someone bent on bad business. Noelle Tremason spent an ideal childhood in London with her beloved mother--the famous, beautiful (and good) musical-comedy actress DÇsirÇe, who attracted admirers, among them wealthy Charles Claverham from Kent. Then DÇsirÇe took under her wing an orphaned, poor, aspiring actress, Lisa--who takes over as understudy when DÇsirÇe begins to suffer sick spells. Lisa also seems to want to understudy for Noelle on her secret meeting with Roderick, Charles's son. Then DÇsirÇe dies. In Noelle's agonized travels afterward, marriage is prevented by a devastating revelation; an enemy becomes a friend during a near-fatal accident in an archaeological dig; the Franco-Prussian War ends marriage possibilities in Paris; and there's a poisoning murder. Chat. Action. Chat. And a murder(s) that will out just before the final clinch and fade-out. May Hibbert/Holt keep 'em coming for the faithful following. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for October)