Today we have a sneak peek from Barbara Silkstone’s mysterious comedy, Cairo Caper.
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?
Here is an excerpt from Cairo Caper…
A loud pop from the other side of the bathroom door startled me so badly that my mascara brush careened up my eyelid and left a racing stripe on my forehead.
If Mister World Famous Archaeologist Roger Jolley thought a bottle of champagne in our honeymoon suite would mellow me, he couldn’t be more wrong. Black gunk hung on my eyelashes. Sometime during the flight from London to Cairo the contents of my mascara cylinder had melted into one big gooey lump.
I ran the brush against my lashes. It hung on my upper fringe like a kindergartener clinging to his mother’s leg. I braced my pinky on my cheek and tugged. Another loud pop gave me a second racing stripe. My forehead resembled the hood of Herbie the Love Bug.
I stuffed the brush back into the tube and put the makeup case in my purse. Roger wouldn’t be opening two bottles unless he was planning on giving me a champagne bath. Hmmm. What the heck was he doing? I banged the door open.
He stage-whispered, “Get down.” He wasn’t in sight. His voice increased to a stage-yell, “Dammit, Wendy, get down!”
Something whizzed by my ear. I hit the floor and scanned the room. Roger lay in front of the peach-colored sofa just this side of an oak coffee table about ten feet from the balcony door. Had he been shot? My heart caught in my throat as a chunk of mascara scraped my eyeball. Blinking it away I cut my eyes to the balcony looking for the shooter. I sensed a presence but saw no one. Using my elbows, I belly-wiggled to Roger.
“Stay put!” He pushed himself up and leapt toward the balcony. The gunman stepped into view. Roger gave a head fake and dove the other way. The assassin got off a shot but missed.
Lying on my side, I stretched my right arm out to the coffee table and grabbed a glass ashtray the size of a hubcap and the weight of a Manhattan phone book. I swung back and pitched the ashtray full-force, pain zinging through my shoulder.
The ashtray thunked the shooter in his nose, knocking him back against the railing. He windmilled then tumbled over.
I belly-wiggled to the patio in case the hitman brought a date.
Roger crouched, checking the sides of the balcony. The patio was killer-less. I scrambled to my knees and then stood, peering over the wrought iron railing. Morning sunlight glared from the muddy surface of the Nile. Six floors down a body in white sprawled in a splat of blood. My first official kill as a tomb raider and it was an ashtray-rubout. How embarrassing.
Roger tried to stand. I put my hand on his shoulder and pressed him back down. He passes out at the sight of blood, a real problem when he was an army medic. He tolerates my fear of getting my face wet and I protect him from plasma.
“Don’t look. Blood,” I said.
The color drained from his face.