Thursday, April 1, 2010

MEME: Crime Fiction Alphabet

Mysteries in Paradise hosts a weekly meme on mystery authors and books, highlighting a different letter each week. Beginning March 29, 2010, posts with the letter X, for author first or last name or book title are being collected here.

X is for Xibalba Murders by Lyn Hamilton.

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 archaeological fans and people interested in Mexico and its history or for readers wanting a book beginning with the letter X.

(originally posted to my blog November 2008)