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Lyn Hamilton (August 4, 1944—September 10, 2009) 

By: Bill Gresens

I was saddened to learn recently that one of my favorite authors had passed away within the past few months.  Lyn Hamilton was a talented, witty writer who created a sympathetic and believable heroine—antiques and antiquities dealer, Lara McClintoch—and then promptly sent her off on adventures and puzzling mysteries in the some of the world’s most intriguing locations:  among them, the Dingle Peninsula in Ireland, Rapa Nui (Easter Island) in the South Pacific, Bangkok, Tunisia.  There were eleven novels in the Lara McClintoch series and the reader could always anticipate a complex and satisfying plot, quirky characters, and an artist’s eye in describing the sights, smells and local color of Lara’s many exotic destinations.   She, in fact, led a number of archaeology tours to some of the very locations her novels took place. 

It was disappointing to learn that she was retiring from writing after her 2007 novel, The Chinese Alchemist, but it was apparently because her struggle with cancer was taking its toll, and this talented young woman (she had just turned 65) died in September, 2009.  Her friends heralded her as “smart, funny, creative, strong, loyal and brave,” and I believe she was all of those and probably much more. 

Her books are still in print in paperback, and available in hardcover from and other book dealers.  I urge those who love high quality archaeological mysteries to read her works.  There will be no more Lara McClintoch novels, but the eleven we have are gems. 

Click on the titles below for my reviews of some of her books. 

The African Quest: An Archaeology Mystery (Reviewed March 2001)

The Celtic Riddle (Reviewed July 2001)

The Magyar Venus (Reviewed June 2004)

The Moai Murders (Reviewed September 2005)

The Orkney Scroll (Reviewed October 2006)

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*MVAC Educational Programs are supported in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in these programs do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
*This project was supported, in part, by the National Science Foundation.  Opinions expressed are those of the authors and not necessarily those of the Foundation.