Wednesday, November 19, 2008

BOOK: The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton, 888 Update

The Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton
A Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery

X title for A-Zed challenge

The first of 11 in the Lara McClintoch mystery series. In this book, Lara travels to Mexico from Canada to help an old friend who sends her a cryptic message. By the time she gets to the hotel owned by her old friends, Don Hernan has gone missing. Lara is picking her life up after a sudden divorce, and she throws herself into finding Don Hernan and what it was he wanted her help for.

First novels in a series can be tough because the author has to set up a whole back story to sustain further novels, introduce supporting characters, plus be a compelling mystery on its own. The mystery was good; Lara jumped right in to situations that I thought were a little daring, but she seemed nonplussed about breaking into a museum, or sneaking out of the hotel while under house arrest. There was a touch more historical information than I would have required but it was a fascinating look at the history of the Maya and Mexico that I knew nothing about.

Summary: cute little cosy mystery, but I won't be running out to get another in the series. Recommended for archeological fans and people interested in Mexico and its history.

It is, however, the last book in the 888 Reading Challenge. I got up to 3 books left to read, mysteries from around the world, in July and then didn't get around to them. So, finally, I am completed. Here's the link to my list of books: 8 categories, 8 books each.

8 Canadian Books finished as of July 30

1. Yellowknife - Steve Zipp Mar 24
2. The End of East - Jen Sookfong Lee Mar 7
3. The Ravine - Paul Quarrington Apr 8
4. Latitudes of Melt - Joan Clark April 5
5. How to Be a Canadian - Will and Ian Ferguson May 25
6. The Birth House - Ami McKay July 30
7. Water for Elephants - Sara Gruen July 4
8. Crow Lake - Mary Lawson July 12

8 Bookers (Man Booker Challenge: 4 winners, 4 shortlisted) finished as of July 10
1. Atonement - Ian McEwan sl Feb 17
2. The Remains of the Day - Kazou Ishiguru Jan 12
3. The Life and Times of Michael K - JM Coetzee Mar 8
4. Hotel du Lac - Anita Brookner June 30
5. The Night Watch - Sarah Waters sl July 10
6. The Gathering - Anne Enright Apr 23
7. Mister Pip - Lloyd Jones sl Apri 19
8. In the Country of Men - Hisham Matar sl May 20

8 Books About Books (goes with the themed challenge) finished as of Feb 13
1. The Book Thief Markus Zusak Jan 11
2. 84 Charing Cross Road Helene Hanff Jan 12
3. Housekeeping vs the Dirt Nick Hornby Jan 8
4. Booked to Die John Dunning Feb 3
5. Ex Libris: Confessions of a Common Reader Anne Fadiman Jan 28
6. The Case of the Missing Books Ian Sansom Jan 16
7. Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi Feb 13
8. The Eyre Affair Jasper Fforde Jan 25

8 More from the Something About Me Challenge finished as of June 8
1. The Eyre Affair - Jasper Fforde Jan 25
2. 84 Charing Cross Road - Helen Hanff Jan 12
3. Booked to Die - John Dunning Feb 3
4. The Secret Life of Bees - Sue Monk Kidd May 30
5. The Awakening - Kate Chopin June 8
6. Angry Housewives Eating BonBons - Lorna Landvik Mar 3
7. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn - Betty Smith May 3
8. The Remains of the Day - Kazou Ishiguro Jan 12

8 Mysteries from Around the World finished as of Nov 18
1. Terra Cotta Dog - Andrea Camilleri (Italy) March 10
2. Silence of the Grave - Arnaldur Indridason (Iceland) Feb 23
3. The Snack Thief - Andrea Camilleri (Italy) July 6
4. Shadow Family - Miyuki Miyabe (Japan) May 31
5. Flying Too High - Kerry Greenwood (Australia) August 20
6. Who Killed Palomino Molero? - Mario Vargas Llosa (Peru) Oct 4
7. The Xibalba Murders - Lyn Hamilton (Mexico) Nov 18
8. All She Was Worth - Miyuki Miyabe (Japan) Nov 2

8 Nonfiction (goes with the In Their Shoes challenge) finished as of July 20
1. Never Have Your Dog Stuffed - Alan Alda Feb 11
2. Running With Scissors - Augustus Burrows July 15
3. Persepolis 1, and 2 - Marjane Satrapi Jan 30
4. The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid - Bill Bryson May 17
5. Maus I and II - Art Spiegelman July 20
6. Reading Lolita in Tehran Azar Nafisi Feb 13
7. Brainiac - Ken Jennings Jan 6
8. A Long Way Gone - Ishmael Beah June 21

8 Young Adult Books (goes with Joy's YAC) finished as of Mar 23
1. Speak - Laurie Halse Anderson Mar 14
2. Island of the Blue Dolphins - Scott O'Dell Feb 4
3. The Princess Academy - Shannon Hale Mar 16
4. Vegan Virgin Valentine - Carolyn Mackler Mar 21
5. Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist - Rachel Cohn and David Levithan Mar 8
6. Zel - Donna Jo Napoli Mar 23
7. The Earth, My Butt, and Other Big Round Things - Carolyn Mackler Feb 19
8. So Long, Jackie Robinson - Nancy Russell Feb 15

8 books published in 2008. (In the Pub Challenge) finished as of June 24
1. Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella Feb 26
2. The Quirks and Quarks Guide to Space - Jim Lebans Feb 24
3. The Bleeding Dusk - Colleen Gleason Mar 21
4. The Ravine - Paul Quarrington Apr 8
5. An Exploding Case of Mangoes - Mohammed Hanif June 23
6. The Outcast - Sadie Jones Apr 27
7. Mudbound - Hillary Jordan June 24
8. The Cellist of Sarajevo - Steven Galloway June 5


  1. Woo Hoo! Congrats on finishing such a big challenge! :)

  2. Congratulations on finishing the challenge. I really like your different genres/criteria. I am going to do the 999 challenge next year.

  3. Congrats on finishing. This was a HUGE challenge, but don't you have a great feeling of accomplishment now?


  4. joy - thanks, it was huge, but lots of overlap. It's the only way. And I've just about done the A-Zed, U author is left and I am about to request it at the library. I finally found a shortish one that looks cute.

    rhinoa - I don't think I'll try the 999, but it was fun this year. Good luck to you, it was neat planning and organizing and rearranging. Lots of rearranging.

    3m - Huge feeling of accomplishment! You were crazy to think of that one! Good crazy, but crazy.

  5. Wow, well done!! I'm still trying to finish this one. Thanks for the X title recommendation too, sounds like a nice one! Are you doing the 999 challenge? ;-)

  6. WOW...Congrats! It's got to feel great completing that huge one!

  7. What a wonderful accomplishment, Raidergirl3. I'm totally impressed. I did have fun making a list for this challenge - I thoroughly enjoy figuring out categories and books to fit those categories - but I didn't do well completing this or any of my challenges this year. The 999 challenges sounds very daunting to me.

  8. What a challenge to finish! Nice job and nice review as well :)

  9. wonderful, raidergirl3! you did it! As you can see, I stalled out around book #50....I'm still very happy with my result, and if we weren't going away to England I'd still give it a go, but I have decided to give myself a break and read whatever comes my way over there! lol I am thinking, crazy as I am, about either the 999 challenge or the 100+ books challenge for next year. Too bad chunksters didn't count for more books! I'd be laughing, having read over 5 so far and working on my 6th now!! what a wonderful achievement, raidergirl3 :-)


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