Isabella’s Painting (Karina Cardinal Mystery #1) by Ellen Butler – Review by Francis O’Sullivan

Isabella's Painting (Karina Cardinal Mystery #1)Isabella’s Painting by Ellen Butler
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Isabella’s Painting by Ellen Butler is the first in her Karina Cardinal Mystery series. We are introduced to Karina, the hero of the series, as she gets caught up in solving the mystery of a strange painting she suspects may link her potential father-in-law with a major art theft.
Karina is a great character! She reminds me of Catherine Morland from Northanger Abbey in the ways that she snoops around to uncover the secrets of her too-perfect boyfriend and his family. Unlike Catherine, though, Karina’s suspicions are more the product of her observant and analytical mind than novel-fuelled fantasies. Karina is a lobbyist for a medical organisation and so has a law degree and strong morals which make her a perfect lead for this series!
It’s a really enjoyable book! The mystery is enthralling and the romance enticing. The story is well fleshed out with supporting characters and various events giving the main characters time and space to develop. The story is told from Karina’s point of view, which works well as we find out her suspicions but can’t find out if she’s right or not until she does.
For me, this is a five star book and I’m looking forward to reading the next book in the series. I’d recommend it to art fans and people who like a bit of mystery with their romance!

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