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Lyn Hamilton: The Magyar Venus

 

Crescent Blues Book Views Berkley (Paperback), ISBN 0425201546

Book: lyn hamilton, the magyar venus
After a night drinking with old college friends, Lara McClintock wakes up in bed at home with no memory of know she got there. Her car sports a rather nasty dent. The local museum reports a break-in. And one of her old college friends lies dead of an apparent suicide.

Lara remembers attending a reception with her friends at the museum, where they witnessed the unveiling of the Magyar Venus, a twenty-thousand-year-old figure carved from mammoth ivory. Lara suspects the unveiling of the Venus triggered her friend's suicide, but why? And why doesn't she remember what happened? Did one of her friends drug her?

The Magyar Venus weighs in as the eighth novel in Lyn Hamilton's Archeological Mystery series, featuring the intrepid antiques store owner Lara McClintock. This is the first book the series that I read, and I jumped right in. Lara proved to be an easily accessible heroine, even if a little grouchy at times (I would be too if an old college friend drugged me, dented my car, and embroiled me in a plot to bring down a widely respected museum curator). However, I found every one of her college friends to be incredibly annoying, self-centered witches. I can only assume Hamilton meant to write them that way. I don't know if they feature in any of the other books in the series; I hope not.

The plot rushes along at a good clip, with Lara flying from Toronto to Budapest and on to London as she attempts to unravel the mystery of the Magyar Venus. Hamilton drops just enough facts in about the Upper Paleolithic Period, archeological excavations, and post-Communist Budapest to allow the reader to follow the quick workings of Lara's mind.

Despite its slew of disagreeable minor characters, The Magyar Venus opened a window to a world few of us know. Rich in details and plot twists, The Magyar Venus will satisfy both old and new fans of mystery.

Kathryn Yelinek

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