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Pharaoh’s Forgery by Ellen Butler

Title: Pharaoh’s Forgery (Karina Cardinal Mysteries #4)

Author: Ellen Butler

Published on: 16th September 2020

Genre: Mystery and Thrillers

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Rating: 5 out of 5.

My favourite author is back with a new addition to my favourite mystery series featuring Karina Cardinal. Karina goes international this time and so do los hombres de Silverthorne.

If you are wondering why I included un poco español in the previous paragraph, here’s why: Karina Cardinal is going to Cancun, Mexico on a vacation. Karina’s sister Jilly was supposed to join her but a skating accident resulted in Jilly breaking her leg. Oopsie!

Mike Finnegan, Karina’s hunka-hunka FBI boyfriend took on another case and cannot join her on the trip. But there is someone who wants to go on a vacation – Rodrigo, Karina’s colleague. Now, Rodrigo habla español, unlike Karina who knows a few sentences like donde está la biblioteca, el baño and so on. Which of course, is of no use unless one goes on a vacation only to visit the library or the loo!

Mrs Thundermuffin, Karina’s neighbour is off to Mexico too – to ‘rescue’ her nephew from a mess he’s gotten himself into. She asks Karina to receive a package that would arrive soon after Mrs T’s departure and before Karina leaves for Mexico. Karina is to get the package to Cancun and Mrs T would take it from her later on.

Our curious little Karina opens the package and finds an Egyptian Funerary mask. As Karina and Rodrigo reach Mexico, their “vacation” barely starts – they are chased by goons, rooms are vandalized and Karina finally has to take the help of Los hombres de Silverthorne.

La señora Butler escribe libros muy divertidos. 😀 Having read the first three books of the Karina Cardinal series, and being told the fourth would feature Karina in a foreign land, I was eagerly waiting to see how things work out between Karina and the Silverthorne guys.

The Silverthorne guys are a private military group (ex-SEALs) – the group consists of four hunka-hunka handsome men – Rick (bossman), Jin, Josh and Hernandez. As the story starts, we see Karina going to their secret hideout for a self-defense class. Karina and Rick end up sharing a moment – the next thing they know, they are laughing so hard and then, their eyes meet. ZING! Karina gets ‘zinged’ twice.

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Between you and I, I think Rick and Karina make a better pair. Mike is not bad either. But I have a thing for hunka-hunkas, whachya gonna do?

So, fast forward to vacation in Mexico, Karina reaches first. Rodrigo is to arrive two days later. Karina goes to the beach one morning (beach yoga) and returns to see her room ransacked. She realizes this might have something to do with the mask. She’s given a more secure room – the one on the concierge level which needs a pass-key to enter and this is when things start to get exciting.

First comes the kidnapping – not of Karina or Rodrigo, then comes the con-men and goons, and mayhem follows! The second half of the book is where things become tense. Just when you think, “thank god, finally!”, there’s a twist. And then some more…

Karina and Rodrigo’s adventure keeps you on the edge of the seat. Completely nail-biting kinda situation here so brace yourselves! The mystery is well-maintained throughout the story.

Ellen Butler is a versatile author. A lot of research has gone into writing this story. The questionable mask is a replica of the one that burned down in the Brazilian museum fire. This is something I have seen in all the books of Karina Cardinal series – as I read through, it feels like a movie playing in my head.

A highly recommended read from me. Adventure, action, con-men, fraud and much more, Pharaoh’s Forgery is a complete entertainment package.


There’s a giveaway for this blog tour. A 20$ Amazon gift card and books 1-4 of Karina Cardinal series (ebook) is up for grabs. Giveaway details are here.

Many thanks to Lori for the blog tour invite.

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