AudioBook Review: Cairo Caper, A Wendy Darlin Mystery by Barbara Silkstone

AudioBook Review:

I never quite know what I’ll get with a Barbara Silkstone title beyond the giggles, but in this installment to the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider series, I got laughs, danger, slapstick and some ick with adorable camapoos and Wendy’s trademark neuroses and her ever-present search for new ones.

Wendy and Roger are seeking the tomb that holds Cleopatra and Marc Antony: Roger is in possession of one piece of the puzzle that legend claims will lead them to the unknown and unmarked tomb.  Of course, there are Russian Oligarchs looking to acquire the antiquities for their own purposes and displays, and the never ending series of misadventures seem to plague Wendy from the get-go.  

With several secondary characters, one is never quite sure who will pop up around the next corner: and paying attention to the names helps readers in understanding the  jokes: subtle tweaks and inclusions of names that are related to these characters behavior and personalities, also infuses the story with some fun parallels from classic film, pop culture and even an aspiring author in the form of Fiona Feelgood, a librarian who has determined her new title, Erotica for Dummies will be the next big thing.  Fiona is a highlight in much of the wordplay, and she is possibly my favorite secondary character.   Wendy is hard NOT to like – she’s a committed neurotic, each new situation or encounter has her stopping to wonder if she has a fear or phobia, if there is a name for it, and should she adopt the new diagnosis.  This alone is enough, but when you add her sense of humor and ability to hold a running commentary about her thoughts and fears WHILE running is just enjoyable.

Narration is provided by Nicole Colburn and again she provides a wonderful performance and captures the essence of Wendy as she navigates the threats, mystery and her relationship with the often distracted Roger.  Never taking her performance too far, she manages to indicate differences in characters, accents and the sense of their emotional impact upon the story without overreach, and each voice suits the characters and incorporates them seamlessly into the story. These characters come to life and propel listeners through the story making it a true treat.

If you want fun, funny and offbeat humor with insets of actual history and archaeological interest – this is the series for you!

Stars:  Overall:  5 Narration 5  Story 5


AudioBook Review: Cairo Caper, A Wendy Darlin Mystery by Barbara Silkstone

Title: Cairo Caper
Author: Barbara Silkstone
Genre: Contemporary Mystery, Women Sleuths
Narrator: Nicole Colburn
Published by: Self-Produced
Source: Author
Pages: 182
Audio Length: 6 Hours: 48 minutes
Rated: five-stars
Get Your Copy: Amazon AllRomance iTunes Downpour IndieBound
See this Title on Goodreads

Part-time tomb raider and full-time real estate broker, Wendy Darlin joins her lover, archaeologist Roger Jolley, in a quest for Cleopatra’s tomb. All they have to do is get from Cairo to the Temple of Taporisi Magna alive.

Armed only with a couple of hijacked ashtrays and faced with a trek across the blazing Sahara desert can Wendy out-maneuver Russian oligarchs, a dozen Dark Force mercenaries, and Roger’s chubby ex-girlfriend in time to find the tomb and seal it before chaos erupts in Egypt?

See the trailer

A copy of this title was provided via Author for purpose of honest review. I was not compensated for this review: all conclusions are my own responsibility.

Sample Cairo Caper


Excerpt from Cairo Caper  ~

A room filled with cat mummies caught my attention. Fiona marched ahead, but I was drawn inside. Cats were considered guardians of the underworld and protectors of those in the afterlife. The dried feline bodies caused a wave of sadness to wash over me.
I moved to the middle of the room where the weight of a stare on my back caused me to spin around. I locked on to the dark eyeholes in the head of a long-necked cat mummy standing next to a wooden cat coffin. The plaque under the cat noted it had been entombed with its master, one of Cleopatra’s guards who had been slain protecting her in the early days of her reign. A tear ran down my cheek. I shook my head to break the strange connection I felt with the tiny figure.
Fiona’s shrill voice snapped me out of my mystic fog. She was standing cross-legged in the doorway, frantically beckoning to me.
Before I could move, a cat brushed my ankle. I jumped and looked down. No cat there. As crazy as it seemed I swiveled my head toward the cat mummy. I could have sworn it winked. My imagination was working overtime.
“Wendy, I really have to go.”
I barreled through a door marked with a drawing of a woman in a long skirt with a scarf over her head. The lights were a notch down from the gloomy hallway. Fiona managed to squeeze by me and race into the nearest stall, I grabbed a potty two doors over.
I locked the door then wrestled with my long skirt and the weight of two mummy-ashtrays in the pockets. I swathed it around my thighs and lifted it just as someone pushed on the stall door.
A gravelly male voice, heavily accented in Arabic said, “Open the door!” I dropped my skirt, dragging the hem in the toilet. Ick. The curse of wearing a long skirt.
“Wendy! Who is that?” Fiona called. “Is that a sex-maniac?”
“Don’t sound so excited,” I said pressing against the door as it shuddered from a fist bashing on the other side.
“Open up! I have something for you.”
“Go away.” I fought to keep my voice from quavering.
“Open up or I’ll… put it under the door.”
“You do and I’ll step on it,” I yelled. He damn sure wasn’t delivering a pizza.
Something let loose with a high-pitched howl. It sounded like a cat but meaner.
I adjusted my skirt, bent down, and peeked under the stall door. Nothing. No male feet. No feet at all. Only the shadow of a cat. What happened to Gravel Voice?
“Fiona, on the count of three hit your door and start running. I’ll be right beside you. One!”
“I can’t get my Spanx up. I’m too sweaty!”
Spanx, my foot. A girdle is a girdle, and a girdle in this heat is ridiculous. “Fiona, drop ‘em and start running!”
“It’s the only pair I brought with me…”
“Two. Three!” I kicked open the door. No one was there. I didn’t bother checking the shadows. “Run for it!”
I imitated Fred Flintstone powering his stone-age car as I paddled my feet for all I was worth.
Fiona galloped alongside me. “Was he good looking?”
“Shut up and run!”
We slip-skidded down the hall and onto the slick-as-glass stone staircase. We shot down the stairs like supercharged Slinkies.


About Barbara Silkstone

Barbara Silkstone is the best-selling author of the Wendy Darlin Tomb Raider Series and the Mister Darcy series of Jane Austen inspired stories. Silkstone’s writing has been described as “perfectly paced and pitched – shades of Janet Evanovich and Carl Hiaasen – without seeming remotely derivative. Fast moving action that shoots from the hip with bullet-proof characterization.”

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