Friday, October 25, 2013

Mayans, Mystery, and Murder

The Xibalba Murders (An Archaeological Mystery #1) by Lyn Hamilton

Summary: Lara McClintoch, her marriage ended and her antiques business sold, eagerly embarks on a trip to Mexico to help an old friend solve a mystery. On arrival, her friend puts off their meeting and then disappears. After Lara witnesses a brazen robbery of a valuable statue of the ancient Mayan civilization and stumbles on a corpse in a museum of antiquities, she becomes a police suspect. Afraid of the police and unsure whom to trust, Lara follows clues pointing to black marketeers and zealous revolutionaries. This dangerous trail takes her to remote archaeological ruins, lush jungles, and bustling streets filled with revelers. Lara engages in a thrilling battle of wits and courage to unmask a killer and stop a tomb-robber in the shadowy world of Xibalba, the Lords of Death.

Review: A mystery that focused heavily on the main female character instead of the actual mystery.

I read very few mysteries. The setting has to be a time period that I very much enjoy such as medieval times or during the time of the Tudors. I would probably have never picked up this book if I hadn’t used it for an A-Z reading challenge. It’s hard to find books that begin with X even though X is a great letter (my middle name starts with X). I had hoped the Mayan aspect would have made the book enjoyable, but alas, it was not to be.

Instead the mystery focused mainly on the main character who seemed full of self-pity. Lara is called to help an old friend with a possible discovery. Yes, Lara does happen to be a graduate student studying the Mayan, but she always seems to be having things explained to her like she doesn’t know anything at all. I know it’s for the benefit of the reader, but still. It made her look stupid. I also didn’t care for her pity party throughout the book. The action of the book didn’t get started until about halfway through the book and the mystery wasn’t exciting either.


Recommendation: I would recommend this book to those that are looking for a more character driven niche mystery.

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