Miranda Marlowe, a dark haired beauty from Corsica, arrived in Oakdale in 1981. Though some people thought the sultry Ms. Marlowe was a model for Barbara Stenbeck’s new fashion company, Fashions Ltd., Miranda’s reasons for being in Oakdale were more nefarious. A key figure in an international drug organization, Miranda approached Memorial doctor Len Howell who owed a considerable debt to the organization to support his gambling habit. Seeing an opportunity, Miranda told Len that the organization would extend his loan if he allowed it to manufacture PCP in Dr. Larry Travis's lab at night. Trapped, he complied, but later double-crossed Miranda and left for Chicago with a large chunk of money. Later, the PCP manufacturing plant would be discovered, though Miranda’s involvement would remain unknown for now. Meanwhile, James Stenbeck was also involved in the operation—using his wife’s company Fashions, Ltd to smuggle the drugs.
In late November, James received a box of wilted roses with pictures of him and his lover, Connie Wilson's, dead body slumped on the floor. James assumed Miranda sent it as a warning, but she denied it. Summoned to a meeting in Paris for the following March, James planned to tape it so he could offer incriminating evidence in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Meanwhile, Miranda hatched a plot to gain access to Fashions Ltd. and intercept the drugs. She posed as a jewelry designer and acquired Fashions as a client. Miranda's plan would get thwarted however, when Rick Ryan (who had been involved in the PCP manufacturing fiasco at Memorial) set the place on fire. At this time, Miranda met an eligible but unlikely man who became smitten with this dark beauty – Memorial’s Chief of Staff, the staid and solid Dr. Bob Hughes. Bob surprised his whole family and many friends when he married Miranda in January 1982. A few months later, Miranda would be visited by her mother, Lydia, a socialite shocked not only that her daughter married Dr. Bob, but also that Miranda was connected to a man such as James Stenbeck. Lydia also gave Miranda the lead that her daughter, Bilan, might have been kidnapped by Mr. Big .
Shortly after they were married, Bob and Miranda went on a honeymoon to Paris. During the honeymoon, unbeknownst to Bob, Miranda was to meet with Mr. Big. Mr. Big ordered Miranda to divorce Bob and forced her to tell Bob she was having an affair with James. Meanwhile, Margo Montgomery, working as DA Tom Hughes's assistant, was intrigued with the police investigation into Mr. Big's organization and so she disguised herself as a hooker and ended up getting arrested on Valentine's Day, 1982. Tom bailed her out of jail and then fired her. Meanwhile, James contacted the F.B.I. He was met by Stan Harper, who revealed that he was part of an operation to bring down a Mr. Big's drug running organization and offered James immunity if he found out the identity of Miranda's boss. At the same time, Mr. Big ordered Miranda to seduce James to find out what he was up to. Around this time, it was revealed what hold Mr. Big had over Miranda.
Back in the late 1970's, Mr. Big had ordered the death of Miranda's lover, Jacques, known as "the Corsican.” Miranda wanted revenge, and thought the only way to do so is to pretend to be working on the inside of Mr. Big's organization. James went to Paris but refused to tell his wife Barbara where he was going. However, Margo knew where her ex-lover was going, and she decided to follow him. Disguising her voice, Miranda phoned Tom to warn him that Margo was in danger and that she should get out of Paris and stay away from James. Tom made plans to go to Paris. Miranda and James arranged to meet Mr. Big -- who was, ironically a dwarf -- at his greenhouse. James was supposed to wear shoes equipped with sensors so the FBI could track him, but Margo tripped over the shoes when she was in James' hotel room and put them out in the hallway to be polished before slipping into his bed. James woke up, startled to find her next to him. He rushed Margo out, but she hid in the hallway, saw Miranda enter and heard the word "greenhouse." Tom soon arrived, much to Margo's surprise.
On the way to his meeting, James realized he wasn't wearing the shoes, but Miranda wouldn't let him go back to get them. Meanwhile, Stan had a tail on Margo, who thought the only thing James was involved in was an affair with Miranda, a story he confirmed just to get her to leave him alone. Shattered, Margo asked Tom to take her home. Then she spotted two thugs following James and Miranda. Remembering what she had heard, she and Tom took off for the greenhouse. The meeting started, on March 4, 1982, just as Margo and Tom arrived with the FBI hot on their trail. Mr. Big accused James of being a spy and Miranda of being a traitor. Miranda pulled a gun, but Mr. Big had already removed its firing pin. Seeing the danger they were in, Tom started a fire. In the confusion, Tom and Margo managed to escape, and so did Mr. Big.
When Stan and the FBI arrived at the greenhouse, James tried to plead Miranda's innocence, but Stan arrested her anyway. James told Barbara, over the phone, about Miranda's involvement in a drug operation. Barbara, in turn, told a devastated Bob and then realized that James must have been involved as well. By the time he returned, Barbara had lost all respect for her husband. After she warned him not to lie, James confessed to his near bankruptcy and admitted that the first shipment of Egyptian jewels came through Fashions Ltd. James swore Miranda blackmailed him with photos of Connie Wilson's dead body and threatened to do the same to Barbara. Hurt and angry, Bob returned to Paris and demanded that Miranda furnish him with information that could help him track down Tom and Margo. Meanwhile, in April, Mr. Big infiltrated Miranda's jail cell and drugged her. He badly wanted something her lover Jacques had stolen from him, but he didn't get what he wanted and booked a flight to Oakdale. Because of the drugging incident, Bob got Miranda transferred to a Chicago prison.
Miranda told Margo that Mr. Big had said something about his fortune being locked up under his hat. They found a miniature audiotape sewed into the hatband, which computer genius Ernie Ross offered to decode. The only two words they could make out were "Bilan" and "Corsica." Miranda was shocked: Bilan was her daughter by Jacques. She was 17, and Miranda hadn't seen her in some time. After Mr. Big had killed Jacques, he had kidnapped Bilan, from a convent near Nice, France, and spirited her to his ranch in the east African island nation of Zanzibar. Mr. Big had actually nearly convinced Bilan that he was her biological father (very untrue, Jacques was). Mr. Big was shocked to learn that Bilan knew the secrets to the fortune that he felt Jacques had kept for himself and quickly Mr. Big booked an airline flight to Zanzibar. Miranda feared for the daughter. Luckily, Tom and Margo were able to locate Bilan, who was deathly ill in Africa. Fortunately, Margo nursed Bilan back to heath, but Mr. Big kidnapped the girl, with Tom and Margo in pursuit. In a clearing tent, Mr. Big tried to get Bilan to decode the message, but a still delirious from the fever, Bilan just couldn't concentrate and Tom and Margo caught up with them. Mr. Big set fire to the tent, without Tom, Margo and Bilan realizing there were explosives in the tent! There was a huge explosion! Luckily Tom, Margo and Bilan were okay, but then Big went missing. He was presumed dead for a few days and then kidnapped Bilan again. Again Tom and Margo were able to rescue here. Bilan told Tom and Margo that the message referred to a marked spot on her old convent wall in Nice. When they found there were two letters, one for Miranda and one for Bilan. The letters had no surprises and no mention of a treasure. Bilan learned how much her real father, Jacques, loved her.
Back in Oakdale, Bob tried to convince Bilan that Miranda was respectable, and mother and daughter had a tearful reunion while Tom played a tape of Big confessing that Miranda never killed anyone and was forced to help the drug operation. The charges against Miranda were dropped and she was set free. Bob and renewed their wedding vows, on Valentine’s Day, 1983, in Paris.
However, it didn’t take long for her to become disenchanted with life in Oakdale, which she felt was hopelessly provincial. Miranda got even more disgusted with Bob, when he allowed Marcy Thompson into their household. Marcy was a friend of Bob’s teenage daughter, Frannie. Frannie and Miranda despised each other and Frannie did everything to make Miranda's life none too pleasant. In addition to disliking Frannie, Miranda hated Marcy as well, and was absolutely tongue tied when she and Frannie walked in on Bob in an apparent romantic clinch with underage Marcy. Miranda was eventually convinced that the situation was innocent on Bob’s part, that Marcy had kissed him. Not long after, Miranda’s old flame, Antoine Bisset arrived in town, and easily persuaded her to leave Bob for a life abroad.