Read Barbara Silkstone - Wendy Darlin 03 - Cairo Caper Online

Authors: Barbara Silkstone

Tags: #Mystery: Cozy - Comedy - Real Estate Agent - Miami

Barbara Silkstone - Wendy Darlin 03 - Cairo Caper

BOOK: Barbara Silkstone - Wendy Darlin 03 - Cairo Caper
8.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
Barbara Silkstone - Wendy Darlin 03 - Cairo Caper
Wendy Darlin Comedy Mysteries [3]
Barbara Silkstone
Barbara Silkstone (2014)
Mystery: Cozy - Comedy - Real Estate Agent - Miami
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?

Cairo Caper




Barbara Silkstone


Cairo Caper

Copyright ©2013 Barbara Silkstone

ISBN: 978-0-9859955-8-4

All rights reserved.


Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise) without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.


This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, brands, media, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and respectfully. The author acknowledges the trademarked status and trademark owners of various products referenced in this work of fiction, which have been used without permission. The publication/use of these trademarks is not authorized, associated with, or sponsored by the trademark owners.



License Notes


This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the publisher and purchase your own copy.


The reverse engineering, scanning, uploading, and/or distribution of this ebook via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the copyright owner is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.


To my wonderful fans without who there would be no Wendy and I would be a tree falling silently in the forest. Laughing as I fell.

Many thanks to Ahmad Khairy my man on the scene in Cairo for his generous sharing of the amazing sights and sounds of Egypt. Hugs to PJ Schott for her support, encouragement, and the gift of an inspirational book on Cairo. Special thanks to my wonderful beta readers and cheerleaders, Judy Beatty and Mary Endersbe who took the time to read and critique, but most of all cleared their busy schedules to catch this baby as she was being born.

Above all, my heartfelt thanks to Wendy’s godfather, Buck Buchanan, who rescued Wendy and this author from more than one meltdown. If not for his sharp pencil, super sentence structure, and incredibly demented humor Wendy would still be lost in the desert.





My name is Wendy Darlin. I’ve been told my life is like the movie
Romancing the Stone
but at times I feel more like Indiana Jones with boobs.

Until last year I was a full-time real estate agent for Miami Beach millionaires. Then I met Roger Jolley, world famous archaeologist, Johnny Depp look-alike, and at times the most irritating person on the planet. My good heart, snarky mouth, and comedic capers keep me in constant peril.

This book is for Nessa, who always knows the right words.

Chapter One

A loud
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
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.

I pushed past him. “How’s this honeymoon working out for you?” I grabbed my purse and threw a scarf over my head. “Get your shoes on. Grab your passport. Let’s make like Houdini before the Cairo cops get here. Out! Out! Out!”

Yanking the door open, I stuck my head out and checked both ways before I ran into any bullets. A room service waiter stood in astonishment with a tray in his hands, and a bullet hole in the wall above his head. The fragments of a crystal sconce littered his platter. His eyes rolled back in his head and he dropped to the floor.

A room door creaked opened between us and the elevator. I caught a bad vibe. It could be another shooter. I slammed Roger into an alcove alongside a potted palm. Our hiding place smelled of mold and other primeval ooze. At the fast count of ten I peaked out.

An elderly gent with Coke-bottle glasses stared at the waiter and blotted his lips with a handkerchief. He cut his eyes to me and stepped back inside his room closing the door with a bang.

“Let’s go!” I said.

We dashed along the blue-carpeted corridor of the hotel, and skidded to a halt at the elevator. The Sphinx was a classic old Egyptian hotel with an elevator dating back to Caesar’s time. The lift worked on the hour, every other hour. I hoped this was the right hour. I didn’t want to hit six flights of stairs in my red Salvatore Ferragamo peep-toe pumps.

Roger joined me in the lift. We exchanged wide-eyed looks as I silently prayed for a safe descent. Gears ground and the ancient box lowered slower than dialup. We hit the first floor with a light bounce. The metal doors partially opened. I wedged through and ran toward the hotel lobby.

The half dozen guests milling around cast curious glances at the staccato sound of my heels on the marble floor. I fought to untangle my ankle-length, loose-fitting skirt and long-sleeved shirt.

The staff scattered, studiously ignoring my hasty exit. The desk clerk busied himself with his fingernails. The bellhop examined an empty luggage rack. The concierge scowled as I streaked passed his desk. Maybe my black eye smears were a local insult.

I skidded to a stop in the foyer, peeked out, and glanced to the left ready to deny the body on the pavement was my handiwork. The doorman was wearing sunglasses, so I couldn’t be sure he was even looking my way. I was expecting a crowd and the wail of an ambulance. Nothing.

Roger came up behind me and hid his eyes in my shoulder. “A lot of blood?”

“A smidge, no… a splat. But here’s the kicker, no body. No corpse.”

He stepped in front of me without looking toward the splat. “What the hell?”

I looked around. Men in business suits and flowing galabia robe thingies scurried along stepping right on the bloody pavement.

Roger tugged at my arm. “Let’s get out of here. There’s a small café near the Museum. We can wait there until noon. I’ve got a feeling someone doesn’t want me to meet with Sir Sydney Street.”

Mister Understatement forged ahead blending into the Cairo street crowd with his archaeologist’s tan, dark brown hair, brown trousers, brown shirt, and brown suit coat. Someday I’d get him drunk and dress him in baby blue.

The wide road reminded me of Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. Mid-rise apartments lined both sides of the road. The island dividing the road had palm trees and low bushes with pebbles instead of grass. The drifting sand on the street made for a slippery run. I was sure I could hear my six-hundred dollar shoes getting shredded.

A sudden cool breeze sliced through the heat, caught my scarf, and lifted it from my head, exposing my wavy blonde hair. People stared at me. I popped on my Ralph Lauren sunglasses feeling like a slow moving target at a carnival shooting gallery.

Roger took my hand and pulled me along as we squeezed through the sardine-spaced pedestrians. Shouts came from Tahrir Square less than a block away. The yelling built to a scary level. I slipped my purse strap over my head across my chest and clutched the bag to my side. Besides my money, credit cards, and passport, it held the important stuff… my makeup.

Firecrackers? I pressed Roger’s hand in a white-knuckled grip. A group of men in galabias were run-walking in the opposite direction from where we were headed. They picked up speed as another firecracker sounded from the square.

“Roger! Let’s follow them!”

“What?” he yelled over his shoulder. His voice was drowned by deal-makers and hawkers negotiating with tourists.

We made our way around a herd of white goats and two black Mercedes sedans. I followed my guy down what would have been a charming side alley, if I wasn’t panting in a panic. The smell of freshly baked bread and yummy fruits reminded me we hadn’t had breakfast. A table of touristy mini-pyramids crowded next to a cart of aromatic spices. We were in one of the oldest open-air markets in Egypt.

Vaulting in front of Roger, I tried to make myself heard. A high-heeled leap is not the easiest maneuver, especially in a crowded market. I tripped over a waist-high basket of pomegranates sending the fruit, Roger, and me sprawling.

Raising his head from the stones he shot me a murderous glare.

“Sorry! Sorry!” I grabbed a fistful of silk scarves that hung from a display board. The plank came down with a plunk knocking us both flat again.

Using one another for support we managed to get vertical. I pulled straw from my skirt, plucked a sliver of grass from my lips, and a pomegranate from my pocket.

“This time act casual or I will kill you myself,” Roger said.

A dude in a full-length purple galabia and a matching baseball cap stepped in front of me. He carried a tray of jewelry with the barrel of a revolver sticking out from a pile of beads.

“Down!” A warning came from behind us.

Roger and I dropped to the ground. A green glass bottle sailed over our heads and hit the peddler in the noggin.

When I grabbed the edge of a cart to pull myself up, I buried us in an avalanche of Louis Vuitton luggage. I squeezed my head between a roll-aboard and a messenger bag in time to see a second seller bend over Bottle Head who lay twitching on the cobblestones. The pile next to me stirred. Roger was conscious.

BOOK: Barbara Silkstone - Wendy Darlin 03 - Cairo Caper
8.27Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub

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