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The Xibalba Murders (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery #1)

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  837 Ratings  ·  121 Reviews
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 polic ...more
ebook, Second, 290 pages
Published February 4th 2013 by Bev Editions (first published 1997)
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Evgeny
Sep 29, 2014 Evgeny rated it liked it
I need to mention I received this book from GoodReads giveaways.

A Canadian store owner Lara McClintoch is recently divorced. It seems to me lately having a main heroine suffering from a bitter divorce, but always finding tall, dark, and handsome guy (or looking for him really hard) is a necessary part of the book to be qualified as cozy mystery. I have a really hard time trying to picture Miss Marple searching for the Right Guy, but it did not prevent her from becoming one of the most famous fem
...more
Miriam

Sadly, Xibalba was only the background color and not the actually murderer (or recipient of victims) and the plot was pretty easy to unravel (for me, not the dumbass doing the investigating) but this was still a moderately entertaining mystery. I appreciated the effort the author made to incorporate the Mayan calender and it was nice to have an archaeological mystery set in Mexico rather than the over-played Egypt.
Barbara ★
BORING! BORING! BORING! Need I say more? Well I will anyway.

This is dry as dirt and it gets so bogged down in explaining the intricasies of the Mayan calendar that you actually lose sight of the storyline. Too much information that really isn't necessary to solving the murder mystery. I had to force myself to continue to read and to finish this book. I should have followed my instincts and put it down after the first 50 pages of tedious writing.
Richard
Sep 23, 2016 Richard rated it really liked it
Every time I read something like this I pause somewhere along the line (perhaps more than once) and say to myself, gosh, this is an enjoyable reading experience, and I'd love to go for lunch with the protagonist. This one also grew on me as I read it, and I liked it (as well as the protagonist) more as I went along. I began reading it on my phone at odd moments, but at some point near the middle I noticed I was having more than the usual number of odd moments, and finally decided to dive in whol ...more
Cherie
Oct 14, 2013 Cherie rated it liked it
Shelves: series
Why do all of these kinds of Cozy Mystery stories all have women who think they are the best people to solve murders, or that they are the only ones who can discover the facts of what is going on and solve all of the clues? They do dumb things and risk their lives and everything turn out well in the end. Is this reality?

As for the story. It was okay. I liked some of the characters very much and thought some of them were just too "much". What I liked best was the information on the Maya. I thoug
...more
Sharon
Antiques dealer Lara McClintoch goes to Mexico at the calling of her local expert, Dr. Hernan Castillo Rivera, because he tells her there is an important archaeological dig going on that may result in some new finds for her shop.

Almost immediately after Lara's arrival, Castillo Rivera disappears and Lara finds herself drawn into intrigue not only surrounding the archaeological site but also the museum for which Castillo Rivera was once the director.

I began to suspect the "whodunnit" at about the
...more
Gina
Sep 24, 2013 Gina rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5-00-rating, reviewed
Goodreads Description- 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 markete ...more
Ana T.
I must admit that although the blurb seemed intriguing enough I only picked up this book because I need an X title for my A to Z Challenge. I thought that it would be a fun challenge but now it seems wrong somehow to spend my time reading books just because I need to strike out a letter. Having said that, it doesn't mean I wasted my time by reading this, there were good things and bad things.


The good things first, it was refreshing to read a book set in Mexico and about Mexican history. Since M
...more
Terri Lynn
I am so excited to have discovered this series of archaeological mysteries by Lyn Hamilton.

In THE XIBALBA MURDERS, Lara McClintoch has just gotten divorced from Clive Swain who forced her to sell her beloved antique/design shop so he could make a grab for all she has. She decides to enroll in college to study the ancient Maya.

As her university break begins, Lara receives a mysterious call from an old friend who is an archaeologist in Mexico. He wants her to come help him find "what the rabbit w
...more
Diana Sandberg
Jun 21, 2009 Diana Sandberg rated it did not like it
Hm. Well, not terrific. This series has come highly recommended by several folk whose opinions more often than not coincide with mine. I will therefore have a look at the next in this series, but this first one is not impressive. The identity of the Bad Guy was obvious from the very first meeting; there is considerable foolish, ham-handed exposition (e.g.: our heroine, a grad student in MesoAmerican studies, has also lived in Merida in the past, yet we have a scene with an archaeologist explaini ...more
Andrew
Dec 04, 2016 Andrew rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery-canada
Several books in Lyn Hamilton's “archeological mysteries” series have been on my to-be-read list for some time. Given the titles and blurbs, I was anticipating a well-researched complex mystery, and actually had passed on starting a few times; I assumed that the language and tone would be intimidating.

I was wrong. On several levels.

In “The Xibalba Murders”, recently divorced and former Toronto-based antiquities businesswoman (she had to sell the business as part of the divorce) Lara McClintoch i
...more
Lyn (Readinghearts)
Aug 27, 2009 Lyn (Readinghearts) rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Lynne, Donna, Cam, mystery lovers
Recommended to Lyn (Readinghearts) by: Shari
The premise of this book (and I presume the whole series) is mysteries that occur during archeological digs. The main protagonist is the owner of an antiquities store who travels the globe and gets involved in solving the mysteries that occur.

At first I wasn't sure what I was going to think of this book, partly because I had just read a book that I literally could not put down, partly because it took a bit to get used to the writing style in this book. For example, the author begins a lot of se
...more
C.
Jul 22, 2012 C. rated it it was amazing
Shelves: up-to-2012
Wow! I can’t believe how swiftly this novelist swept me away. The motion chugs along so well on every page, I wonder if Lyn Hamilton paired her manuscript down to these parts or if it was action-packed from the start. She had room to pause now and again for details. A few scenes were glossed over, I’d like to have savoured. Notwithstanding it’s a resounding A+ and for a début novel! I’m also pleased and proud to discover this gifted writer is Canadian. Lyn’s style truly stands out.

A technique I’
...more
Connie N.
This is a good cozy mystery, although I lost interest here and there, which is why I gave it 3 stars. Lara McClintoch is a student of the Mayan culture and travels to Mexico at the request of her friend to help him in a mysterious search. Unfortunately he is discovered dead soon after her arrival, so not only is she looking for his killer, but she's also trying to figure out what he had discovered and why he needed her help. I thought the story got bogged down in some of the ancient culture and ...more
Jennifer Collins
Hamilton's details of Mayan history, archaeology, and artifacts are interesting and beautifully woven into the fabric of the mystery, but that said, they rather overshadow everything else (and this is coming from someone who truly has an interest in those details!). In comparison, there was just too little attention to characterization but in the opening pages, and actual action (as opposed to thought or discussion) was so rare and quick that it might be slipped into the space of a paragraph, un ...more
Martha
Nov 24, 2011 Martha rated it it was ok
For my A-Z challenge. If it hadn't been for needing this one for the challenge, I wouldn't have finished it. I give it 1.5 stars only because the mystery was ok despite the fact that it took half the book to get going. The main character relied too heavily on her dreams which seemed to be presented as valid as actual Mayan history. I had high hopes for it because I love archealogy, but not sure I'll read another at this point.
Phair
OK mystery but fascinating info about Maya culture and history. I had recently watched a program on Chichen Itza (Nat Geo? Science Ch?) with computer generated reconstructions so that made the story more vivid in my mind. Know I had read at least one other book from this series but somehow missed this first book. Can't say this first one made me wild to continue with the series but knowing that later books continue to focus on interesting archaeological topics might just keep me returning.
Melissa
I did not really care for the writing style of this book. There was too much of the mythical characters and that part really didn't make sense. I had to end up skimming those parts. I really wanted this series to be good, I was looking forward to reading the books set in all the different countries. However, it was not meant to be, I doubt I will read any more of these. I also figured out half of the mystery.
Denise
Dec 06, 2013 Denise rated it liked it
Shelves: read-2013
Quite entertaining mystery set in Mexico, with lots of interesting background on Mayan culture. Occasionally a bit too much info dumping, though.
Loraine
Jun 09, 2012 Loraine rated it really liked it
An interesting, well-written mystery threaded throughout with Mayan mythology and archaelogical tidbits. Look forward to reading some of Lyn Hamilton's other archaelogical mysteries.
Joan
Feb 08, 2017 Joan rated it really liked it
First book in the series of archaeological mysteries. I enjoyed its Learn a lot about Mexican, Mayan and colonial history. Lara, the main character ran an antique shop, but lost it after her divorce from Clive. She is ask to come to Mexico by Dr. Castillo, a Mayan expert to help him find something. She is there two days, when he is found dead. Lara is determined to find whatever he was looking for. However, the crooked local policeman has issued a warning that she is not to leave her hotel. The ...more
Nick
Nov 06, 2016 Nick rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Το βιβλίο έχει αρκετές πληροφορίες για το Μεξικό και τον πολιτισμό των Μάγιας, σε σημείο που να θυμίζει περισσότερο ταξιδιωτικό οδηγό με ολίγον από αστυνομικό μυστήριο. Πιθανόν αυτό να μην αρέσει στους φανατικούς αναγνώστες των αστυνομικών μυθιστορημάτων, αλλά προσωπικά το βρήκα ενδιαφέρον αφού έμαθα και κάποια πράματα για τον πολιτισμό των Μάγιας. Ο ρυθμός του βιβλίου ίσως φανεί αργός και με πολλά κλισέ σε κάποιους, αλλά σκοπός του είναι να ψυχαγωγήσει και το καταφέρνει αρκετά καλά. Ειδικά στο ...more
Danielle
Mar 03, 2017 Danielle rated it really liked it
I learned a lot about Maya culture from this book. The mystery itself is thinly veiled but interestingly interwoven with cultural information and good characters. I think I'm going to get the next one in the series. It appeals to my inner archaeologist!
Ilze
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Dorothy
This series was recommended to me recently because of my interest in archaeology and my love of reading mystery series. Since this is billed as an archaeological mystery series, it certainly seemed like the perfect fit.

The Xibalba Murders, the first book in the series, seemed especially promising since it is set in Mexico and involves a mystery about a Mayan artifact and archeological dig. I've been fascinated by Mayan history ever since my long ago college days when I did a research paper about
...more
Lekshmi Priya
Apr 17, 2012 Lekshmi Priya rated it liked it
Recommends it for: maya fanatics
Well, the Xibalba Murders is indigenous in the sense that the narrative is laced with the old maya legends and their ball games, especially those of the Hero twins and the Lord Darkness with the story in a detached yet impressive sort of way. At intervals, the old legend is unfolded as to how the twins outwitted the Lords of Darkness. Each chapter starts with the days according to the maya count of days, the Tzolkin and the explanation to it is given, so that we don’t get lost (but the explanati ...more
Catherine
Dec 23, 2016 Catherine rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my first book by Lyn Hamilton and I loved it!
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
...more
Dyana
Jun 18, 2015 Dyana rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is the 1st in a series on archaeological mysteries, and I only gave it three stars as I'm sure the series will improve. This one is set in the city of Merida on the Yucatan Peninsula where Lara McClintoch has been summoned by an old friend, Dr. Hernan Castillo. Dr. Castillo is a scholarly gentleman whose enthusiasm and knowledge of the ancient civilization of the Mayans has inspired Lara with an interest in the same area. Lara receives a cryptic phone call from him asking her to come and he ...more
Bev
Initially I picked up The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton for two reasons: 1) It's got a lovely "X" right there at the beginning and that knocks off a rather difficult letter for the Alphabet Soup Challenge and 2) It's set in Mexico, so it works for the Around the World Challenge. It also counts for a whole boatload of other challenges, so I thought it was all good. But geez, Louise, it was difficult to finish this rather blah, rather predictable book. First problem: It's written in the first pe ...more
Cornerofmadness
Apr 04, 2015 Cornerofmadness rated it liked it
Shelves: mystery
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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
More about Lyn Hamilton...

Other Books in the Series

Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • 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)
  • The Chinese Alchemist (Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery, #11)

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