"Who would have dreamed that I, Deirdre Fennora, priggish, proper Irish spinster of modest means and rather intellectual pretensions, should find myself, but two months an orphan, locked in the library of a bizarre and haunted palace in the solitary company of a half- Chinese opium-eating ----?"That pretty much sizes up what happens in the first 100 or so pages, and that's pretty much all you need to whet your appetite for this long-lost gem of a book - and a must for fans of the Victoria Holt romantic suspense/gothic/mystery. Although Deirdre's no doormat and doesn't let anyone walk all over her like a Holt heroine does. I really couldn't have asked for more in a book, a mystery, a hunt for an ancient Chinese treasure, a ghost, and of course a pair of lovers who don't know they're in love and spend all their time swapping barbs and tossing ink pots and whatnot. Don't miss this one. Worth every penny and/or swap point.