Sunday, May 13, 2018

Isabella's Painting by Ellen Butler

Isabella's Painting
(Karina Cardinal Mystery Book 1)
by Ellen Butler

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Just released: May 2, 2018
Publisher: Power to the Pen
Genre: Mystery, Romance
Paperback: 280
Rating: 4

First sentence(s):
The Nantucket style mini-mansion loomed in front of me like a bad dream, its glittering twinkle-lights and festive greenery seeming to mock my utter lack of holiday cheer.

Peeling back layers of lies could save a masterpiece…or reveal a killer.

After a long week lobbying on Capitol Hill, all Karina Cardinal wants to do is chill with Netflix and her boyfriend, Patrick Dunne. Instead, she’s slipping her aching feet into red stilettos for his parents’ annual holiday bash. When she accidentally interrupts Patrick’s father in his study, her embarrassment is tempered by suspicion that Martin Dunne and his dapper, secretive guest are hiding something. Maybe the painting she barely glimpses right before it disappears behind a secret panel.

An internet search raises her curiosity to full-blown alarm. If she’s right, Martin is in possession of a stolen masterpiece. Infamous because everyone close to it has turned up dead. As in Mafia-style-execution dead.

As she’s chewing over which instinct to follow—back off while she still can, or dig deeper for the truth—she crosses paths with FBI agent Mike Finnegan. An old friend and not-quite flame from her college days. When she looks into his warm, mocha eyes, she’s tempted to tell him everything.

Trouble is, she’s already being watched. And the next move she makes could destroy innocent lives…including her own.


My two-bits:

This mix of mystery and romance led me into the art world and introduced art heists. Loved the feature of Vermeer as he tops my list of favorite artists.

As the protagonist is not a detective, it was interesting to see how she went about uncovering the mystery with her resources and skills.

There is an FBI connection who is a friend from college days and with sparks of romance that crackle when they interact - makes for a great start for further adventures with the two.

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* review copy courtesy of author
Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu