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Thai Amulet [Hardcover]

Lyn Hamilton
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

April 1 2003 Archaeological Mysteries
Toronto shopkeeper Lara McClintoch solved her first archaeological mystery in The Xibalba Murders, nominated for the Arthur Ellis Award for Best First Novel. Since then, Lyn Hamilton's acclaimed and popular series has taken readers around the world to various exotic locales-where rare antiquities and base human nature add up to murder. Now, in The Thai Amulet, Lara must sift through the layers of Bangkok society to find a fellow antique dealer-alive or dead...

A smart, appealing, funny, brave, and vulnerable protagonist." (London Free Press, Ontario)


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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

In Canadian Hamilton’s alluring seventh archeological novel (after 2002’s The Etruscan Chimera), her globe-trotting American antiques dealer and sleuth, Lara McClintock, goes on a buying trip to Thailand, where she also tries to track down William Beauchamp, a fellow dealer who’s gone missing. Meanwhile, Lara’s stepdaughter Jennifer is in the country to meet the family of her Thai boyfriend, Chat. As befits the mysterious Asian setting, nothing is what it first seems. The shifts of scene between contemporary Bangkok and 16th-century Ayutthaya, the ancient Thai capital, may confuse some readers, but on the whole the author does a fine job of blending history with the sights, sounds, smells and tastes of the Orient. Corpses pile up in both past and current plots, with parallel motives rooted in the quest for power, jealousy and greed. A list of both ancient and modern characters eases the task of keeping all the names straight.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Customer Reviews

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Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Exotic setting and mystery July 31 2003
Format:Hardcover
Lara McClintoch and her ex-husband Clive Swain are in business together. Why she went into business with her ex-husband, she's not sure, but they get along better as business partners than marriage partners. They own an antique shop called McClintoch and Swain.
Lara goes abroad to do the buying. This time, while abroad, she is going to Bangkok, Thailand to visit Jennifer, Rob's daughter, who is there with her boyfriend Chat Chaiwong. Rob, a policeman, is Lara's significant other.
Clive asks Lara to look into the disappearance of William Beauchamp. He left his wife, Natalie, and disabled daughter some time ago fleeing to Thailand. He opened an antique shop there. Now, he hasn't been heard from or seen for months. Lara finally agrees and meets with Natalie to get any pertinent information. He sent her some amulets which Lara takes with her. They might help with her inquiries.
The many characters she encounters in Thailand, and the many escapades she and Jennifer experience, are very believable and add to the intrique. I think Lyn did a great job at creating the Chaiwong family -- showing their wealth and thus various attitudes throughout the book. She always brings some history into the books as well. This history adds to the story.
Most of the books in this series have exotic settings. I know that Lyn does a lot of research and it shows in the great descriptions and knowledge of the areas. It makes me feel like I've been there after reading the book.
Lara is a great character. She is very well developed and her actions are quite believable. She doesn't do really stupid, dangerous things like some characters. Most her dealings are something a regular person might do.
If you like exotic settings, history and mysteries, you'll like her books. I recommend them!
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars strong amateur sleuth April 12 2003
Format:Hardcover
Thailand is an exotic place and when William Beauchamp goes there on a buying trip, he sends his wife Natalie a fax saying he is not coming back. Unable to keep the business going and care for her severely handicapped daughter, Natalie sells the store and lives off the profits. Two years later her resources are nearly depleted and Will has gone missing, not seen at his home or store in Bangkok for months. She needs to know if he is alive so she can get a good divorce settlement or dead so she can collect on his insurance.
Lara McClintoch, the owner of an antiques store in Toronto, Canada, is going to Thailand on a buying trip and agrees to look into the matter for Natalie. She learns that Will was working on a book about a vicious killing that happened to an American in the 1950's but no trace of his computer or manuscript is found. She starts asking questions about Will and the missing manuscript that stirs up some people who want certain skeletons (literally) to stay buried.
Lyn Hamilton has written an amateur sleuth tale that shows why visitors are fascinated by Thai culture. The protagonist is like Sherlock Holmes on the hunt and when she picks up the scent she stays with it even if it means making people uncomfortable. THE THAI AMULET is a fascinating tale about greed, treachery, betrayal and murder, and readers won't rest until they find out what happened to Will and why.
Harriet Klausner
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exotic setting and mystery July 31 2003
By Dawn Dowdle - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Lara McClintoch and her ex-husband Clive Swain are in business together. Why she went into business with her ex-husband, she's not sure, but they get along better as business partners than marriage partners. They own an antique shop called McClintoch and Swain.
Lara goes abroad to do the buying. This time, while abroad, she is going to Bangkok, Thailand to visit Jennifer, Rob's daughter, who is there with her boyfriend Chat Chaiwong. Rob, a policeman, is Lara's significant other.
Clive asks Lara to look into the disappearance of William Beauchamp. He left his wife, Natalie, and disabled daughter some time ago fleeing to Thailand. He opened an antique shop there. Now, he hasn't been heard from or seen for months. Lara finally agrees and meets with Natalie to get any pertinent information. He sent her some amulets which Lara takes with her. They might help with her inquiries.
The many characters she encounters in Thailand, and the many escapades she and Jennifer experience, are very believable and add to the intrique. I think Lyn did a great job at creating the Chaiwong family -- showing their wealth and thus various attitudes throughout the book. She always brings some history into the books as well. This history adds to the story.
Most of the books in this series have exotic settings. I know that Lyn does a lot of research and it shows in the great descriptions and knowledge of the areas. It makes me feel like I've been there after reading the book.
Lara is a great character. She is very well developed and her actions are quite believable. She doesn't do really stupid, dangerous things like some characters. Most her dealings are something a regular person might do.
If you like exotic settings, history and mysteries, you'll like her books. I recommend them!
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong amateur sleuth April 12 2003
By Harriet Klausner - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Thailand is an exotic place and when William Beauchamp goes there on a buying trip, he sends his wife Natalie a fax saying he is not coming back. Unable to keep the business going and care for her severely handicapped daughter, Natalie sells the store and lives off the profits. Two years later her resources are nearly depleted and Will has gone missing, not seen at his home or store in Bangkok for months. She needs to know if he is alive so she can get a good divorce settlement or dead so she can collect on his insurance.
Lara McClintoch, the owner of an antiques store in Toronto, Canada, is going to Thailand on a buying trip and agrees to look into the matter for Natalie. She learns that Will was working on a book about a vicious killing that happened to an American in the 1950's but no trace of his computer or manuscript is found. She starts asking questions about Will and the missing manuscript that stirs up some people who want certain skeletons (literally) to stay buried.
Lyn Hamilton has written an amateur sleuth tale that shows why visitors are fascinated by Thai culture. The protagonist is like Sherlock Holmes on the hunt and when she picks up the scent she stays with it even if it means making people uncomfortable. THE THAI AMULET is a fascinating tale about greed, treachery, betrayal and murder, and readers won't rest until they find out what happened to Will and why.
Harriet Klausner
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thoroughly Fun to read! March 10 2006
By Book Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I picked this up in a hostel with limited reading material (something I do a lot) and was expecting this to be average-fare formula fiction.

But it is so good!

I really enjoyed reading the book, it wasn't a masterpiece or anything but it kept me hooked, I thought Lara was a very well developed and believeable character who I really liked. The other characters were also interesting and realistic - this book was very well written.

The only downside was the beginning of each chapter - there was a continuing story about an older Thailand - this would have worked well if it had linked more closely with the modern tale, I felt instead that these sections were disjointed and irrelevant - not as interesting as the main body of text.

Thoroughly enjoyable book, and if I happen to see any other of the books in the series, I would definitely pick it up for an easy and fun read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars That's The Way The Relic Crumbles April 20 2007
By Marc Ruby™ - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Once again, another try at finding a new author to fill the gap left by writers who I've read so many times I can quote sections from memory. This book left me a bit disappointed because I expected an archeological mystery and got, instead a suspense tale with a few artifacts sprinkled in. There's nothing wrong with Lyn Hamilton's book but it wasn't what I wanted to read (think Agatha Christie with a large dose of Elizabeth Peters).

The story is really a missing person tale with antique dealer Lara McClintoch off to Thailand to meet the parents of her daughter's fiancé, Chat Chaiwong, and try to find William Beauchamp, another dealer who ran away to Thailand and has since disappeared, leaving a destitute wife and child. What Lara doesn't anticipate is that Beauchamp's tale and the Chaiwong's are inextricably (and often fatally) intertwined. In the background of the main story arc Hamilton narrates the tale of one of the darker periods of Thai history, where betrayal and murder were a constant of the political environment. The plot and the history reflect each other, perhaps a bit too much, in retrospect.

I find that Hamilton's writing is a bit too calm for my taste, but that she does weave a complex tale with plenty of twists and turns. The protagonists are all likeable, but this isn't really a 'cosy.' In fact, the underlying story is grim and dark enough that it never gets lost in the witty repartee. I'm going to give this three stars, not out of pique, but out of the suspicion that the writer can do much better and I need to leave room if my opinion improves. I do intend to read a few more of Hamilton's stories, so stay tuned.
4.0 out of 5 stars Violence in A Pleasant Package Dec 25 2012
By Ken C. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Reviewer Dawn Dawdle wrote of the author's novels that "If you like exotic settings, history and mysteries, you'll like her books. I recommend them!" Thai Amulet is in an exotic setting with plenty of history, and Lyn Hamilton has crafted a mystery that sustained my interest. So, thanks, Dawn, for the recommendation. I found the writing to be uncomplicated, and the story told in a fashion that centers on its pleasant investigator. Yet some of the events told were of dastardly deeds and untimely deaths. It seemed almost inconsistent with the tone. No attempt is made at deep character development, although the plot itself has been designed with twists, turns, and surprises, and that ultimately is what makes the book worth reading. There are no fancy turns of phrase either. Just mystery in that exotic setting, a setting I am familiar with and enjoyed re-visiting. Bottom line though is that I prefer those turns of phrase and character development that make a novel art as well as mystery, so one of Lyn's novels will suit me just fine.
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