Isabella's Painting by Ellen Butler

Book 1 in the Karina Cardinal Mystery series

In 1990, two men broke into a Boston Museum an stole $500 million worth of art. To this day, the art remains at large … until now.

After a long week lobbying on Capitol Hill, all Karina Cardinal wants to do is chill with Netflix and her boyfriend, Patrick Dunne. Instead, she’s slipping her aching feet into red stilettos for his parents’ annual holiday bash.

When she accidentally interrupts Patrick’s father in his study, her embarrassment is tempered by suspicion that Martin Dunne and his dapper, secretive guest are hiding something. Maybe the painting she barely glimpses right before it disappears behind a secret panel.
An internet search raises her curiosity to full-blown alarm. If she’s right, Martin is in possession of a stolen masterpiece. Infamous because everyone close to it has turned up dead. As in Mafia-style-execution dead.

As she’s chewing over which instinct to follow—back off while she still can, or dig deeper for the truth—she crosses paths with FBI agent Mike Finnegan. An old friend and not-quite flame from her college days. When she looks into his warm, mocha eyes, she’s tempted to tell him everything.

Trouble is, she’s already being watched. And the next move she makes could destroy innocent lives…including her own.

“One woman's hope for a Netflix-filled weekend is vanquished when her boy friend brings her along to the family holiday party and into the middle an art heist. Now, with her own life in the balance, quick-witted Karina must think on her stilettoed feet to solve the mystery of an ominous painting. Butler has created a rip-roaring adventure story perfect for the holidays or any day.” – Jade LaRue West, San Francisco Book Review ★★★★★

“Isabella's Painting takes the reader on a rollicking ride through the high-stakes world of art thieves and the investigators who work to get them back… it is a fast-paced, entertaining and engrossing fictional expose of the shady underbelly of the art world.” – retired FBI Special Agent Robert K. Wittman, Founder of the FBI Art Crime Team and New York Times bestselling author ★★★★★