The cover beckons you with a picture of a gun, a pair of long legs encased in red peep toe stilettos with a pyramid in the background. Wendy Darlin is back to raiding tombs in the Cairo Caper. This is my first Wendy Darlin adventure and I wouldn’t be averse to more. If you like Indiana Jones or Mummy reruns, you will like Cairo Caper. It has the intrigue of a chase or hunt in an exotic country, coupled with the glib dialogue and ridiculous humor you would find in a Janet Evanovich book. A winning combination for many readers, I am sure!
Wendy is a big Miami realtor but has the hots for an archaeologist. So she goes on digs and treasure hunts with said archaeologist. This time she is in Cairo, pretending to be married to lover boy, trying to find something as elusive as the Holy Grail – Cleopatra’s Tomb. But opposing forces are already on their trail. Wendy flees with the Jolley Roger – no, can’t resist this quip – and a stray woman she finds wandering about in the museum. They are whisked away to a Death on the Nile type cruise boat, where more attackers await them. Wendy’s nemesis is also back on their trail, trying to make trouble and latch on to Doctor Jolley.
As Wendy and company literally trudge through the Sahara looking for transportation, dehydration is not their only problem. They are followed by Roger’s ex who is swilling Dom Perignon from atop her lofty mount and has minions pander to her whims. They are waylaid by local thugs, Russian oligarchs who want the treasure for themselves, and also something called the Dark Force.
As if all this is not exhausting enough, Wendy is troubled by a tiresome cat who keeps rubbing against her legs. She brands herself with an ancient medallion belonging to Osiris and has to take care of a maidenly woman who is trying to write a book on erotica. She has lost her appetite for food, but has a high success rate bashing people with marble ashtrays.
Cairo Caper is a mad and silly adventure, but it can be so only because of the highly skilled writing portrayed by the author. The background story is interesting enough but not too prosaic to understand. Certain scenes are clearly lifted from popular movies, while some are hilariously original. Characters are strong and lively. The character of Fiona did not seem that appealing to me and was a bit unnecessary, in my opinion.
All in all, this one is a winner in my book because I dig archaeological books and movies and adore the likes of Stephanie Plum. Anything that combines adventure, ancient history, mystique, exotic locales, quirky characters, love triangles and an assertive female lead is a winner in my book.
This is one caper you don’t want to miss. Hats off to Barbara Silkstone for shaking up this irresistible cocktail.