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The Xibalba Murders

(Lara McClintoch Archaeological Mystery #1)

3.46  ·  Rating details ·  1,062 ratings  ·  154 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
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Published February 6th 2013 by Bev Editions (first published 1997)
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Average rating 3.46  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,062 ratings  ·  154 reviews

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Sep 29, 2014 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
* In 2012, Lyn Hamilton became my favourite Canadian authoress. She died of cancer but I leave two to three years in between her fantastic multicultural series and have many left to enjoy and admire. I received no comments when I wrote this and appreciate hearing from you, about a favourite novel now. :) Hugs, Carolyn! *

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
Feb 17, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 5000-2020
This was a nice enough little book to pass a couple of hours but not outstanding in any way. It contained a huge amount of information about the Mayan culture which was interesting but not always totally relevant.

The mystery was good and the book was certainly action packed. Our MC, Lara, changed from being a shop owner and university student into some kind of superwoman, climbing out of bathroom windows and investigating cave systems in the middle of the night. She also fell into other people's
I guess that the purpose of various reading challenges is to get us to read outside our comfort zones. I chose this book to be my “title beginning with X” choice for this year. Although I am a sometimes mystery reader, I’m generally not a big fan of the cozy mysteries and that is how I would have to categorize this one.

What I did really like in this book was the emphasis on Mayan mythology and culture. I hope that the author did her research, as I’d like to believe that I learned a few things a
Oct 07, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, the-americas

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.
BAM Endlessly Booked
2018 Reading Challenge: prompt from a past Reading Challenge

Book for all Seasons prompt: q,x,z author or title

So this is where I decided to stop writing a review on every book I read this year only about six books in
Let me tell you why
It was dull
I had nothing I wished to pronounce
No feelings either way
And now I have the whole series
Book Concierge
Number one in the Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery series, takes our heroine from her home in Toronto to the Yucatan peninsula. Lara’s marriage has ended and she’s lost her business, so when a former teacher and mentor calls and asks her to come to Merida, Mexico to help him with an important new discovery, she jumps at the chance. But Dr Hernan Castillo is killed before she can meet with him and now she’s a suspect in his murder. She doesn’t know whom to trust, but is certain if she can fi ...more
Sep 27, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ebook, mystery, adventure
This book was little more then OK, I didn't care to much for any of the characters, because we hardly got to know any of them and the heroine made way too many bad personal decisions (view spoiler) ...more
P.J. O'Brien
I loved the setting and the Mayan history & legends. But the protagonist's impulsive Indiana Jones - like stunts frustrated me no end. I found myself calling her an idiot out loud several times and nearly put the book aside unfinished. The only thing that kept me reading was the thought that maybe what seemed obvious to me was actually just overplayed red herrings and author Lyn Hamilton was going to surprise me with a real twist at the end. But sadly no.

I've read other books in the Lara McClint
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 turns 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 thou
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.
Sep 24, 2013 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
Dec 10, 2019 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was definitely interested in an archeological mystery so I picked up The Xibalba Murders. Unfortunately, it wasn't exciting or engrossing. Perhaps the series gets better.

Lara, the archaeologist, takes it upon herself to investigate her friend's death in Mexico, apparently over a precious Maya artifact.

I can appreciate the names of the chapters being the names of the days in Mayan and there being a bit of a mystical twist with her dreams of the Lords of Xibalba, but it wasn't enough to make thi
Sep 23, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
May 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
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
A very interesting murder mystery involving the Maya
Lara McClinton was forced to sell her antique design
shop due to a divorce. She enrolled in college to
study the ancient Maya. While on break a friend contacts
her to come to Mexico. He is an archaeologist and
wants to consult her on a discovery.
Disappearance, murder, archeological digs, Xibalba who is
the Lord of Death, lush jungles, writing rabbits, robbery
of a statue, revolutionary forces, black marketeers plus
suspense, drama, danger and
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. ...more
Entertaining archaeological mystery set in the Yucatan. I liked the twist at the end, except (view spoiler) ...more
A fellow Canadian wrote this novel about a woman pulled into some art hi-jinx and murder in Mexico. It did have some interesting details about the Mayan culture, but it wasn’t a compelling enough novel to have me continue the series.
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
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
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
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
Diana Sandberg
Jun 21, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
Clare O'Beara
Antiques and archaeology are not quite the same thing; however this intelligent and interesting mystery takes a Toronto antique shop owner with a love of ancient cultures and embroils her in ill deeds in Mexico.

I like the way that we are told a good deal of landscape, culture and history through the tale, and see different sides of life. There might be more climbing out of windows in the dark than seems realistic, but I've never been there so it may be accurate. This is the first in a series an
Mar 26, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a decent mystery chock full of interesting Maya history and culture. Things fell into place a bit too easily for our heroine and I had most of it figured out by the end - something I can rarely do when reading mysteries - but the historical aspect of it made it worth the read, although the whole Maya calendar bit got old pretty quickly. It was interesting but just too coincidental that the day never failed to bring exactly what it was meant to and that she seemed to have the calendar me ...more
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. ...more
Stacie  Haden
This was boring and lacked any personality. I already have the second one (which is a bit better, according to the reviews), but I won't be rushing to read it. ...more
Joy Gerbode
Sep 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an enjoyable mystery, with more intrigue than the typical cozy. There is a LOT of background on Mayan culture, tradition and myth, which is not all essential to the mystery, but is all interesting, especially since this is a culture I know almost nothing about.
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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

Other books in the series

Lara McClintoch Archaeological 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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