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THE BLACK OPAL by Victoria Holt


by Victoria Holt

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 1993
ISBN: 0-385-47024-X
Publisher: Doubleday

 The recent death of Eleanor Hibbert, the indefatigable, reliable popular writer who appeared as Jean Plaidy, Philippa Carr and Victoria Holt, has saddened her large following. Hibbert through the years perfected cherished formulas for romantic suspense, real or fictional dynastic dooms and delights (in palaces or English manor houses), and period galloping adventures. Here, in the first Holt novel to be published posthumously, an orphan lass finds love on two continents and helps to solve an old murder. Carmel March had been found as an infant under an azalea bush, and thanks to kind Dr. Marline--the ailing Mrs. Marline is horrid- -Carmel is raised with the Marline children, although she's still regarded as an outsider. Still, Carmel finds people to love. There's the boy Lucian of a titled family nearby; a lovely governess destined for tragedy; some pleasant gypsies, one of whom takes an unusual interest in Carmel; and Mrs. Marline's sea captain brother, Uncle Toby. Then, when Carmel is ten, disaster strikes the Marline house; there's a murder, and Toby whisks Carmel to Australia. Years later, Carmel returns to England alone to unravel a mystery and consider three proposals of marriage. To the beloved Mrs. Hibbert: hail and farewell--and thanks. (Literary Guild Dual Selection for Fall)