The Black Opal

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Abandoned as a baby, her exotic beauty prompted hushed whispers of gypsy blood. But lovely Carmel March remained shrouded in mystery....

When tragedy struck her adopted home of Commonwood House, little Carmel had been bundled off to Australia. Returning to England as a young woman, she became haunted by questions from her past, as well as the shocking revelation that she had...

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1994-10-31 Mass Market Paperback Good 373 pages; spine creasing, light edge wear; As a child, Carmel March had been rushed from a murder scene and bundled off to Australia. ... Now, she has returned to England, where she is haunted by questions--including whether the wrong man had been sentenced for the crime. Read more Show Less

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1994 Mass-market paperback First edition. Good. No dust jacket as issued. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 384 p. Audience: General/trade.

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Overview

Abandoned as a baby, her exotic beauty prompted hushed whispers of gypsy blood. But lovely Carmel March remained shrouded in mystery....

When tragedy struck her adopted home of Commonwood House, little Carmel had been bundled off to Australia. Returning to England as a young woman, she became haunted by questions from her past, as well as the shocking revelation that she had been rushed from a murder scene those many years ago.

Yet she was convinced that the wrong man had been sentenced for the crime. Was the answer locked away in her childhood memory—or in the dark, secretive behavior of her old childhood friend, Lucian? And what fateful role did the opals—always present at crucial moments of her life—play? For only when she released the dark secrets imprisoned at Commonwood would she find the freedom to love....

"Victoria Holt's mysteries are among the best."
Minneapolis Star & Tribune

"The prolific Miss Holt—.combines suspense and romance with the master's touch."
Boston Herald

First time in paperback--the final bestseller from one of the world's most beloved authors is full of her trademark romance and suspense. As a child, Carmel March had been rushed from a murder scene and bundled off to Australia. Now, she has returned to England, where she is haunted by questions--including whether the wrong man had been sentenced for the crime.

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Editorial Reviews

Denise Perry Donavin
A waif left under an azalea bush is taken in by the well-to-do English family of Doctor and Mrs. Marline and passes a decade before realizing that she is actually a relation (the illegitimate daughter of her Uncle Toby) rather than the outcast she has been made to feel. The realization comes only after her father sweeps her away to join him on an international trading voyage. In reality, Toby is protecting her from the trial of the doctor for the murder of his wife. Years later, as a grown woman, Carmel returns home to England, discovers the family scandal, and sets out to prove the doctor's innocence. Although at times not up to Holt's standard quality, this multilayered fiction is pleasant and rife with surprises.
Kirkus Reviews
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)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780449222713
  • Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/31/1994
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Edition description: REPRINT
  • Pages: 369
  • Lexile: 690L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 4.18 (w) x 6.94 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Victoria Holt is one of the world's most beloved writers of romantic fiction. Her bestselling novels include Seven for a Secret, Daughter of Deceit, Snare of Serpents, The India Fan, and The Silk Vendetta. Miss Holt also wrote many bestselling novels under the names Jean Plaidy and Philippa Carr. More than fifty-six million copies of Victoria Holt novels have been sold worldwide, and there are more than fourteen million copies of Jean Plaidy and more than three million copies of Philippa Carr stories in print.

Victoria Holt died in January 1993.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 9 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(4)

3 Star

(3)

2 Star

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1 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 13, 2003

    A good read

    I enjoyed this book and the old fashioned approach to the romantic/mystery genre. Holt's easy, prolific writing style reminds me of my other favorite author, Sherry A Mauro.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 3, 2003

    THIS REVIEW IS FOR ALL VICTORIA HOLT FANS!

    THE BLACK OPAL WAS PROBABLY THE LAST BOOK I HAD READ FROM VICTORIA HOLT. THE REASON HER BOOKS ARE SO SPELLBINDING IS THE FACT THAT SHE DELICIOUSLY INTERTWINES ROMANCE, SUSPENSE, AND INNOCENCE INTO A JOURNEY THAT EVERY YOUNG WOMAN SECRETLY DREAMS OF TAKING. COMPARED TO A LOT OF THE TRASHY ROMANCE NOVELS OUT THERE (WHICH I CONSIDER AS SOFT PORN), VICTORIA HOLT'S NOVELS ARE BY FAR THE CLASSIEST (WHO SAIDS ROMANCE HAS TO BE PHYSICALLY DESCRIPTIVE?). I HAVE YOUNG DAUGHTERS NOW AND MY OLDEST DAUGHTER, WHO IS TWELVE, IS FAST BECOMING A BIG VICTORIA HOLTS FAN AS WELL! WE SEARCH HIGH AND LOW FOR VICTORIA HOLT BOOKS(WHICH IS BECOMING MORE AND MORE DIFFICULT TO FIND), AND WHEN WE COME ACROSS ONE, WE FIGHT OVER WHO GETS TO READ IT FIRST! THE ONLY FAULT, IF ANY, WITH HOLT'S BOOKS ARE, THEY BECOME FAIRLY PREDICTABLE AFTER A WHILE. BUT NONE THE LESS, HER BOOKS ARE STILL OUR FAVORITE COLLECTABLES!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2014

    I Also Recommend:

    Liked it better than Menfreya in the Morning, which I read right

    Liked it better than Menfreya in the Morning, which I read right before it. The characters have more substance. I really wanted to give it 5 stars, but although I love Victoria's writing style, the action is not fast paced in many of her books. 3.5 to 4 stars. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2010

    Great Plot, Easy Read, Great for a Pre-Teen or Early Teen reader

    I loved the plot and the characters. It was fast paced and kept me interested, which a lot of books do not. The only thing I didn't like was how simplistic it was written as if a 12 year old wrote it. I enjoy a more descriptive writing style. Too bad because I loved everything else about this story. I may or may not buy another one of Victoria Holts books. I would recommend it to someone who has difficulty reading a book with a more advance story line, such as a pre-teen.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 12, 2001

    Great reading material!

    Carmel March, left under an azalea bush when very young, has grown up in the house of Dr. and Mrs. Marline and their 2 daughters and son. She has never really felt like part of the family yet always being drawn to the gypsies in the forest. When she's about 11 years old, she's taken away to Australia by Mrs. Marlines brother, Toby, and lives the next 10 years or so there, always wondering what happened to the Marlines. While in Australia, she discovers many things about herself and her real family and when she returns to England, Carmel finally discovers the mystery behind what happend to the Marlines.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 14, 2000

    The most suspenseful life story ever told!

    Victoria Holt portrays the young Carmel March as the main character.She was found 'under the azalea bush that gave Tom Yardley a lot of trouble one year' ; and, from that moment on, she leads the most intriguing life that I have ever heard of. She thought that she was an orphan, but she finds her parents after being rushed away from the murder scene of Mrs. Marline(whom she'd been staying with). This was one of the best books I have ever read. I would definately recommend reading it if you feel the slightest need to!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2011

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted December 3, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 17, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

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