Now Available in ebook, print, audio


Operation Blackbird: A Cold War Spy Novel

Her mission could tip the balance of power…or spark World War III.

October, 1952. The war is over, but for CIA officer Miriam Becker, memories of the horrors she witnessed remain jagged in her mind. While vacationing in Argentina, recovering from a mission that nearly killed her, she’s seeing more ghosts from the past than the sights. When a longtime family friend and fellow operative, Jake Devlin, tracks her down, Miriam is forced to push everything to the back of her mind for the next mission: help a highly prized and heavily guarded rocket scientist defect from Soviet-controlled East Berlin—right out from under the KGB’s nose.

Well aware that one wrong move could spark World War III, Miriam, Jake, and the team plan their strategy to the last detail. But when a betrayal brings everything crashing down, Jake’s quick thinking creates the diversion to get Miriam out alive—but leaves him trapped behind the Iron Curtain. Unsure of whom she can trust, Miriam must complete the mission by relying on contacts outside of the agency, even though her heart longs to return to East Berlin to rescue the man who is the last link  to her troubled past … before the KGB gets to him first.

Next Generation Indie Book Award Winner! – First Place Historical Fiction (2023)


“The presence of a strong female lead adds a feather to the astounding hat that this novel dons.” – InD’tale Magazine

“Author Butler knows her stuff…” – Historical Novel Society Review

“…thrilling and cinematic, with tension that will have readers eagerly turning the pages to see what comes next.” – Manhattan Book Review

“A deftly crafted and fully reader engaging novel with many an unexpected plot twist and turn, “Operational Blackbird” by Ellen Butler will have a special appeal to readers with an interest in Cold War era spy novels.” – Midwest Book Review

Read the first chapter click HERE! 


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Swindler’s Revenge ~ Karina Cardinal Mystery, Book 5

White collar crime can get dirty quicker than a line drive into foul territory.

Karina Cardinal and Mike Finnegan are splitsville, but when the FBI claims he took a $1.2 million bribe? No and no and no. When a mysterious burner phone shows up in her pocket, she knows it’s from Mike, who’s deep undercover and so far off-grid, he needs help to figure out who’s framing him-and why.

Classic Karina, she jumps in with both feet, ignoring the dangers. The trouble with leaping before you look? You can land in a world of dirt. And when an old enemy starts playing hardball, you can end up six feet under it.

“Butler keeps the plot barreling ahead. Fans of intelligent escapism will look forward to more.” – Publisher’s Weekly Magazine

“Ellen Butler’s “Swindler’s Revenge” is an unputdownable adventure that will take readers on an electrifying yet light-hearted and humorous journey.” – InD’Tale Magazine

“Each installment of the Karina Cardinal series just keeps getting better! Absolutely loved and wish I could give more than 5 stars!” – Affaire de Coeur Magazine

“Swindler’s Revenge by Ellen Butler is a cozy mystery with an edge.” – Readers’ Favorite 

“Karina is at it again. One of my favorite things about this series is seeing Karina as the fish out of water amateur, but one who isn’t catastrophically stupid.” –Award-winning Author Melanie Jackson

“Look for mystery, suspense, and romance in this rocking adventure that will keep you reading until the end.” – Author Terry Ambrose

Read an Excerpt

Thanks for visiting my website, I’m glad you found me. I write sassy romance and page-turning suspense novels. On this site you’ll find my upcoming public appearances, newsworthy events and information on new releases. If you want to interact with me and get a daily dose of all things author, or talk about wine, chocolate and shoes, follow me on Facebook or Twitter. If you want sneak peeks, previews, and the chance to get Advance Reader Copies (ARCs) of my new releases, before the general public, join my newsletter.
My suspense novels are excellent books for reading groups and book clubs, and I provide guided questions.

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