Stacy's Books

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The Xibalba Murders, by Lyn Hamilton

The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton: Book CoverFinished 9-4-09, rating 3.5/5, mystery, pub.1997

Book 1 of An Archaeological Mystery series

“I cannot tell you more about it right now, but I can assure you that it is – – what is that American expression? — right up your alley, and that it will interest and possibly even excite you?”

“You’ll have to tell me more than that!”  I laughed.

“This is not a subject for discussion over the telephone,” he replied.  “The risk is too great.”

And then, perhaps fearing I wouldn’t come on the strength of so little information, he relented a little.

“I will give you a hint, then, since you are a student of the Maya.  We seek what the rabbit writes.” And that was all he would say.

It was a ludicrous request, so of course I went.

IMIX chapter

Lara McClintoch is fresh off a bad divorce that left her jobless and a student once again.  An old friend and museum expert on the Maya, Dr. Hernan Castillo, asks her to fly down from Toronto to Merida, Mexico, to aid him in a new project.  She jumps at the chance to work with him and visit old family friends in the city and is soon in Merida.  Only Dr. Castillo is nowhere to be found and Lara finds his dead body, casting suspicion on her in his murder.  With her passport confiscated, Lara thinks the only way to clear herself is to find the killer.  Instead she finds another dead body and is now under house arrest. 

This is mystery is heavy into the Mayan history and the current struggles of the people trying to retain their culture.  It was a little too detailed for my taste, but I did appreciate learning more about a culture I know little about.  The mystery was very good.  Although I suspected who might be behind the murders I did not know for sure and there were enough suspects to keep me guessing.

Lara was an interesting main character and this is the first in a series of archaeological mysteries that take her all over the world.  I wouldn’t mind reading the next in the series, but I won’t be rushing out to get it.

September 6, 2009 - Posted by | 3 1/2 Star Books | , ,


  1. Oh no! A must read for me! I love mysteries, I have degrees in anthropology, I have archaeologist friends who did work on Maya sites. But most important: I need an X title for the A-Z challenge. I’m buying this one right now!

    Then this is a perfect fit for you! I read it for the X title too 🙂

    Comment by Beth F | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  2. Better yet, I placed a hold on it in the library

    Comment by Beth F | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  3. I used to be fascinated with the Mayan culture, and I do love mysteries, so this book sounds good to me.

    Comment by bermudaonion | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  4. Like the cover, title and premise. Thanks for posting this.

    Comment by gautami tripathy | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  5. Hmm, I think I’ll pass on this series as it doesn’t sound like one that would grab my interest.

    Loved your thoughts on it! 🙂

    Comment by Staci | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  6. I don’t know about this one. I like a good mystery but the overall idea leaves me with a so-so feeling.

    Comment by Margot @ Joyfully Retired | September 6, 2009 | Reply

  7. I used to go around telling everyone I was a Maya Princess in a past life. I was a kid, what can I say? 😉 This does sound like an interesting mystery. I’ll have to look for it.

    Comment by Literary Feline | September 7, 2009 | Reply

  8. I’m intrigued, this looks like a very good book. Great review , too.

    You have an award to pick up here:

    I posted it yesterday, but then had to go out before I told anyone! 🙂


    Comment by Sassy Brit | September 7, 2009 | Reply

  9. this sounds pretty good. Speaking of Mayan culture, did you ever see Mel Gibson’s movie Apocalypto? It was actually pretty good and the sub-titles were not too annoying.

    Comment by Jennygirl | September 8, 2009 | Reply

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