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Lyn Hamilton Books In Order

Publication Order of Lara McClintoch Archaeological Mystery Books

The Xibalba Murders (1997)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Maltese Goddess (1998)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Moche Warrior (1999)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Celtic Riddle (2000)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The African Quest (2001)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Etruscan Chimera (2002)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Thai Amulet (2003)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Magyar Venus (2004)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Moai Murders (2005)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Orkney Scroll (2006)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Chinese Alchemist (2007)Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

Lyn Hamilton is a mystery author from Toronto best known for her “Archeological Mystery” series of novels. “The Xibalba Murders” that was the first novel of the series was a best first crime novel in the Arthur Ellis Awards. The series of novels has Lara McClintock as the lead protagonist, antique dealer and peripatetic sleuth. She travels the world searching for beautiful and rate antiques and along the way has to deal with a little mayhem and murder. Hamilton’s novels are set in exotic locations and get their unique inspiration from the ancient past. She is a long-time student and practitioner of mythology and archeology. She also visits most of the scenes that she talks about in the series given that she has a love for archeology and antiques. As such, she brings a wealth of experience and knowledge in the writing of her series. Her mysteries have been translated into Russian, German, Turkish, Italian, Hebrew and Spanish among other languages. When she is not writing her mysteries, she is traveling across the world and has been to both dangerous and intriguing locales in the quest for beautiful and rare artifacts for her Toronto based antiques store.

In her professional career, she was the Ontario government’s Director of the Cultural Programs Branch and was charged with administering conservation programs, museums and licensing of archeological projects in the province. As for writing, Hamilton was a late bloomer as she decided to start writing fiction as a fifty-year-old. “The Xibalba Murders” her debut novel was first published in 1997. However, once she started, she became prolific publishing a novel every year until 2007. She had gone to the University of Toronto to study physical and cultural anthropology and English literature and it was then that she had become interested in ancient civilizations. Nonetheless, she never had the patience to study and become an archeologist though her interest in the subject remained. She quenched her thirst by visiting heritage sites and taking courses before she decided to become an author. Even so, she had been traveling and learning long before she had written the first novel. In a recent interview, she asserted that it was her job at the Ontario government’s Cultural Programs that was the most significant in shaping her career. It provided her with the contacts in the archeology community that were a great resource when she finally decided to write her mysteries. Lyn Hamilton died in 2009 aged 65.

Hamilton has always loved thriller plots and she combined this with her love for archeology to craft her series. Lara McClintock has a lot in common with her as they are both lovers of antiques from Toronto that travels the world looking for antiques. The fourth novel in the series “The Celtic Riddle” was adapted into the 2003 motion picture “Murder She Wrote.” “The Magyar Venus” also made the shortlist for the best crime novel Ellis Award. In 2008, a year before her untimely death, she had announced that “The Chinese Alchemist,” the eleventh novel of the series would be the last in “The Lara McClintock Archaeological Mysteries” series. Lyn has also been active in sharing her knowledge and experiences and has mentored more than 100 aspiring authors. She has also been a writer in residence at the Kitchener libraries in Ontario and North York and has taught Creative Writing at the University of Toronto. What makes Lynn’s work different is that she does not always state the obvious but rather focuses on the action. She also avoids unnecessary dialogue while including magnificent descriptions, cultural flavor, and excellent research. Lyn is also good at the development of character and is a passionate teacher of ancient history that she does entertainingly. Lastly, she includes elements of hidden artifacts, a touch of politics, old secrets, murder mystery, and exciting romance threads.

Lyn Hamilton’s “The Xibalba Murders” introduces Lara McClintock the lead of the “Lara McClintock Archaeological Mystery” series. She had decided to go to Mexico for a well-deserved vacation after finalizing her marriage and selling her antique business. Moreover, she thinks it would be interesting to help her friend resolve a bizarre mystery. When she arrives in Mexico, her friend postpones their meeting but then goes missing. A few days later, she is witness to the theft of a valuable artifact that dates back to the ancient Maya kingdom. She then goes to see the sights and discovers a corpse while in the museum of antiquities in Mexico City. The police finger her as the main suspect and now unsure of who she can trust and afraid of the police she is forced to become an amateur sleuth. Her initial investigation points to zealous revolutionaries and black marketeers as being at the center of it. The trail leads her to bustling streets full of party-goers, lush jungles, and remote archeological ruins. She is soon caught up in a thrilling battle of courage and wits that seeks to stop a tomb raider and unmask a killer.

“The Maltese Goddess” by Lyn Hamilton is a quick read that tells an interesting mystery story. Lara is selling several of her antiques to an architect and the man has asked her to travel to Malta. He needs her expertise in the installation of the items as he intends to host a meeting of several dignitaries in a few days. Lara McClintock is eager to sell the items and agrees to travel to Europe, where she is soon in love with the small community on the small island where her client lives. The only fly in her ointment is a dead cat and mysterious stranger that was lurking in her backyard. When the items finally arrive, she is relieved that the work can begin and she can go back home. But then she finds something that was never intended to be part of the shipment – the stiff body of her customer. The police want answers and she finds herself having to find explanations, even as she hosts a Canadian Mounties that is an expert in such bizarre happenings.

The third novel in the series “The Moche Warrior” is a fun and humorous story that involves Lara and her ex-husband Clive Swain. He seems to have a vendetta against her as he had established his business right across the road from that of Lara. As if that was not infuriating enough, he had followed her to a swanky auction house after the death of her friend and outbid her for some expensive cutlery she intended to get for a collector client of her. Clive intends to use the glasses to lure the client away from her business into his. In retaliation, she outbids him on a junk looking box that he and a man nicknamed Lizard were desperate to get. But things only get worse when there is an arson attack on the store her elderly employee Alex and her neighbor are viciously attacked and Lizard turns up dead in some back-alley hotel. The police think Alex is responsible for the murder/theft/arson attacks and if possible, Lara. This means that Lara has to find south of the border to get her a passport, a driver’s license and a job on some archeological site, where the priceless Moche Warrior piece had been unearthed. She heads to Peru only for more danger to dog her footsteps as she tries to unravel the mystery.

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