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The Chinese Alchemist (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #11)
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The Chinese Alchemist (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery #11)

3.61  ·  Rating Details  ·  295 Ratings  ·  27 Reviews
Antiques dealer Lara McClintoch is targeted by ruthless criminals while tying to recover an eighth-century Tang Dynasty silver box-with an alchemical formula for the elixir of immortality etched on the inside of the lid. The rare item holds the key not only to the mysterious death of a museum curator, but to Lara's own survival.
Hardcover, 272 pages
Published April 3rd 2007 by Berkley Hardcover
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Terri Lynn
Oct 05, 2011 Terri Lynn rated it it was amazing
I had a lot of fun reading THE CHINESE ALCHEMIST as I have with most of the other books in the series. In this one, Lara travels to China to try to get hold of a mysterious silver box (1 in a set of 3) to return to the Chinese government for her deceased friend Dorothy who fled with her mother at the time the communists took over China in the 1940's. Dorothy, however, had many secrets and a hidden agenda and poor Lara almost dies because of it. As dead bodies turn up and Lara desperately seeks t ...more
Aug 27, 2007 Roxy rated it liked it
A good book overall, but the plot became too confusing to follow, and rambled near the end. It trook almost ten pages at the end of the book to unravel the whole story, by which point I had almost lost interest. However, i don't read mysteries a lot, so this could explain my impatience.
Mar 12, 2014 Chenoa rated it really liked it
I found out after starting the book that it was the 11th of the series. I may have missed some subtleties or figured out the mystery sooner having read the other books but I never felt like I was missing something. it was an excellent story around an artifact and how it effected peoples lives in the past and present. I enjoyed the pace of the book even though I found that the main actor had to make some big leaps in logic to get to the final conclusion.

Overall I found the book an enjoyable read
Feb 24, 2009 Nancy rated it it was ok
This book had all the elements that should have added up to a fun read: experienced mystery author; antique dealer as protagonist; armchair travel to China and intrigue in the auction world. What on earth happened?

My biggest issue with the book was that the antique dealer/sleuth's investigations seemed totally out of line. I never mind Miss Marple poking her nose in her neighbors' business, but somehow Lara McClintoch didn't ring true to me.

And, as other reviewers have noted, there are big patch
Jul 06, 2014 Nancy rated it it was amazing
Great book. This contained enough historical information to keep reading a challenge. I always had my dictionary and iPad on hand to look things up. I just ordered three more of Lyn Hamiltons books. It was that good.
Mar 13, 2011 Snap rated it liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
The Chinese Alchemist: An Archaeological Mystery is the last in the series featuring antiques dealer Lara McClintoch. Lara is asked by her friend and former curator of Asian Art at the local museum, Dorothy Matthews, to purchase a silver box from the eighth century T'ang dynasty at a New York auction. Etched with part of an alchemical formula for immortality, the extremely rare box is suddenly withdrawn by the seller. The same box is put up for sale in Beijing a few months later and Lara is off ...more
Nov 09, 2011 Anna rated it it was ok
Shelves: bookcrossing, 2011
Armchair travel to China as a Canadian tourist...
The protagonist is a Canadian antique dealer who goes on an antique Chinese box hunt to New York and then to China. I hoped the 'archeological mystery' should would be more mouth-watering, but it had a very touristy image of China (with not fully fitting details where it tried to educate about history etc). The protagonist was a bit flat in character, but maybe she develops later in the series to a more interesting and less of a Nancy Drew/Miss Ma
Apr 29, 2013 Diana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lara McClintoch, antiques dealer, has been asked to purchase an 8th century T’ang dynasty silver box for a client. She pursues the box to New York, and then Beijing where it is brazenly stolen. Lara and a museum employee are both interested in recovering the box for their own reasons. In the meantime, some people involved in the theft are killed and Lara becomes a target for the ruthless criminals who are also trying to recover the box. The story of the characters during the T’ang dynasty who we ...more
Sep 25, 2014 Alice rated it liked it
This last book was better than some of the others in the series.
Margaret1358 Joyce
Dec 08, 2013 Margaret1358 Joyce rated it liked it
A fast, fun read, this story, like The Orkney Scrolls-another of Hamilton's archaeological mysteries-weaves an ancient tale through the plot line of a modern murder mystery, and whirls the protagonist, Lara McClintoch,a Toronto antiques dealer turned detective, off-in this case,to China. Lara's sleuthing in and around Beijing invites the reader to not only wonder 'whodunit,' but also to witness through Lara's eyes, modern China and to reflect on its history. An interesting read!
Mickey Hoffman
I kept wondering as I read if this book is set in the same China that I've been to. I speak Chinese and know something of the culture and the book didn't ring true to me. The plot isn't that great either. I found the protagonist the most annoying part of the book. I just didn't like her. Perhaps she wasn't described enough, or maybe I just didn't care if she or her friends got the mystery solved or not.
Oct 05, 2008 Grey853 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery
I love reading mysteries about antique dealers. I love learning about the history. However, a writer can go a little overboard with too much detail sometimes and I think Hamilton did that here. Plus, her main character is sometimes a little hard to take.
May 06, 2008 Pam rated it really liked it
This is a very good author of light mystery novels. Okay, people die, so they're not TOO light, but they are easy to read & have an attractive heroine, who is Canadian! And globe-hops to interesting places which are well described.
Apr 26, 2012 Rox rated it it was ok
I was excited to read this since I've always been fond of history-related stories. However, the plot sadly lacks with excitement and a strong protagonist to make this more entertaining.
May 11, 2009 Diane rated it really liked it
Archeological mystery of 3 nesting bowls with alchemist formulas. Chinese treasures smuggling ring. Interesting after reading The Alchemist.
Wan Ni
Sep 03, 2010 Wan Ni rated it did not like it
It's a wild-goose-chase novel meets Orientalism. Much of the devices are gratuitous, the plot is weak and the book is not compelling.
Jan 03, 2011 Laurie rated it really liked it
Delightful mysteries with the ancient history and archaelogy tie-in.
I shall definitely read more of these.
Jul 01, 2008 Deena rated it did not like it
Shelves: mystery
The last nail in the coffin for this series. I couldn't even finish it.
Nov 13, 2008 Teresa rated it liked it
I have read several of hr mysteries and this was the most interesting.
It wasn't good until the last 40 pages. First 3/4 of book were ho-hum.
Jul 17, 2007 Jan rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery series fans
Great series, good suspense and I usually don't figure it out till the end.
Jan 19, 2009 Cathy rated it liked it
Murder mystery set in China with Canadian sleuth. OK, nothing great
Doris Pearson
Jun 18, 2011 Doris Pearson rated it it was amazing
good mystery with a bit of history thrown in. I like that.
Mar 31, 2011 Helen rated it really liked it
Felt very formulaic, action not very engaging
Bcoghill Coghill
Feb 17, 2009 Bcoghill Coghill rated it liked it
I do enjoy this series.
Jun 13, 2010 Carolyn rated it it was amazing
Love it great series
May 15, 2011 Pat added it
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Tina Musso
Tina Musso rated it really liked it
May 27, 2016
Cheryl marked it as to-read
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Lyn Elizabeth Hamilton was a Canadian author of archaeological mystery novels.

She worked in communications in the public service and private companies before publishing her first novel at the age of 50. She had been director of Cultural Programs Branch for the province of Ontario and director of public affairs for the Canadian Opera Company. Later, Hamilton taught mystery writing for the School fo
More about Lyn Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Xibalba Murders (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #1)
  • The Maltese Goddess (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #2)
  • The Moche Warrior (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #3)
  • The Celtic Riddle (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #4)
  • The African Quest (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #5)
  • The Etruscan Chimera (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #6)
  • The Thai Amulet (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #7)
  • The Magyar Venus (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #8)
  • The Moai Murders (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #9)
  • The Orkney Scroll (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #10)

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