Title: The Celtic Riddle ***SIGNED***
Publisher: Berkley Prime Crime, NY
Publication Date: 2000
Binding: Hard Cover
Book Condition: Very Fine
Dust Jacket Condition: Very Fine
Signed: Signed by Author on Full Title Page
Edition: 1st. Edition, 1st. Printing.
First Edition, First Printing with full number line. Signed, without inscription, by author on the FULL title page. New unread Very Fine book in Very Fine dust jacket. Promotional book mark laid in. All our books are bubble wrapped and shipped in a sturdy box with Delivery Confirmation. NO remainder mark, NO previous owner markings or inscriptions, NOT price clipped, NOT a Book Club Edition, NOT an Ex-Lib. Dust jacket covered in protective clear wrapper. Bookseller Inventory # 009308
Synopsis: Southwest Ireland is the destination for an all-new archaeological mystery...
Toronto shopkeeper Lara McClintoch is back--and heading for Ireland--in this thrilling new novel in the "exotically absorbing and culturally colorful"* series by award-nominee Lyn Hamilton...
Lara is in a quaint, seaside town in County Kerry, Ireland, serving as moral support for a friend at the reading of a will. The deceased well-to-do businessman posthumously sends his querulous family and friends on a treasure hunt, with each clue coming from a line of an ancient Celtic poem. Caught up in the spirit of the hunt, Lara goes up against a grieving family that has closed ranks, the riddles of Irish history, and someone who thwarts her at every turn--with murder...
Praise for Lyn Hamilton's archaeological mysteries:
"A passport to adventure...artfully crafted."-- Booklist
"Armchair travelers and mystery buffs will enjoy the smooth blend of history and murder."-- Publishers Weekly
"A pleasant blend of past civilizations and present intrigue."-- Toronto Star
"A gifted writer....a terrific read."-- The Midwest Book Review*
"A smart, appealing, funny, brave, and vulnerable protagonist and a complex, entertaining, and rational plot."-- London Free Press (Ontario)
"Captivating."-- Mysterious Women
Review: After antiquing sojourns in the Yucatán ( The Xibalba Murders), Malta ( The Maltese Goddess), and Peru ( The Moche Warrior), Toronto shopkeeper Lara McClintoch finds herself in County Kerry, Ireland. Lara, who has a good eye for antiques and an excellent eye for murder, is serving as moral support for her friend and employee Alex Stewart, who must attend the reading of an old friend's will. Eamon Byrne, formidable in life and maddeningly evasive in death, has decided to make the division of his estate an occasion for familial cooperation and goodwill. Well-versed in Irish mythology, Byrne leaves each person gathered at the reading a sealed clue to a mysterious treasure, a posthumous plot to force his family to mend the rifts between them. Too bad his querulous offspring aren't interested--but Lara is, particularly after learning that the clues are lines from the "Song of Amairgen," an ancient Celtic poem. As she, Alex, Rob Luczka (a Mountie along for the ride), and Rob's daughter Jennifer puzzle through the clues, the game turns lethal when members of the Byrne household are found dead.
Hamilton's premise is an intriguing one; the process of deciphering--metaphorically if not literally--ancient texts should challenge the reader and allow the author to weave artfully between past and present. But the novel is crippled by what seems to be an acute lack of interest on Hamilton's part: she makes no effort to justify Lara's deductions, which often seem to be the result of divine intervention, and doesn't address at least half of the clues, merely assuring the reader that Lara and her cronies have solved them. Hamilton's repetition also handicaps her text; in a novel with so little narrative complexity, pausing to remind the reader of past plot developments is at best unnecessary and at worst infuriating.
Lyn Hamilton's first novel, The Xibalba Murders, was nominated by the Crime Writers of Canada Association for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel; one hopes that Hamilton's next archaeological outing will better fulfill the potential implicit in that nomination. The Celtic Riddle, unfortunately, is probably not worth solving.
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