by Cynthia Chow
Details on how to win a copy of Cry in the Night at the end of this review.
At a 1982 Washington D.C. lecture by a visiting Mexico City, Egyptologist and assistant museum curator, Sheila Ramsay is stunned and mesmerized. Not so much by the passionate discourse on the criminality and barbarity of museums purchasing artifacts from thieves and pillagers, but by Jeremiah Elliot’s striking looks and obvious dedication to preserving historical treasures. After a day spent with “Jerry” touring the Smithsonian Sheila is so completely smitten, that when her museum offers the seemingly unobtainable opportunity to return a borrowed manuscript to the owning family in Mexico City, Sheila impulsively applies and is shocked to when she is selected.
Upon her arrival in Mexico, Sheila is chauffeured to the home of the Ortegas, the wealthy Mexican family who own the colonial manuscript written by Father Sanchez and who translated the Aztec histories and codices. Neither Sheila nor the museum know why the family has demanded its return, but she is charmed by their home and especially by Tony Ortega, the son of the patriarch Señor Ortega, who alarmingly seems to be surprised that Sheila has brought the document to him.
Night cries, written warning notes, a frightening doll and Jerry’s furious reaction and accusations at her arrival, all alarm Sheila and have her seriously questioning her presence at the Ortega home despite her fascination with the Aztec pyramids of Teotihuacan, and the charming Tony. Sheila is determined to discover why Jerry is suspicious and resentful, why emotions are running so high surrounding this artifact and most importantly, why her life may be in danger.
This previously unpublished mystery by the award-winning Carolyn Hart perfectly captures the spirit of her early gothic romances, but with a much stronger element of archaeological lore. Fans of the mysteries by Elizabeth Peters will feel right at home, as Hart discourses on Aztec history, archeological principals and controversies and international intrigue. The romantic elements always pleasantly entertain in the background, and readers will be charmed by the likable heroes and despise the nefarious blackguards.
Hart’s writing is always strong and the plot moves swiftly with many suspicious characters thrown in for an unexpected conclusion. Readers will be pleased by this new mystery that educates as it entertains with subtle humor and an unwavering, strong and very admirable heroine. She may have been initially motivated by infatuation, but Sheila ultimately acts out of respect and compassion for a culture that is gone but never forgotten.
To enter to win a copy of Dry in the Night, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line “Cry,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 4, 2014. U.S. residents only.
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