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The Chinese Alchemist (Archaeological Mysteries, No. 11) Hardcover – April 3, 2007


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover; First Edition edition (April 3, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425213951
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425213957
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 5.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #957,456 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Hamilton's diverting 11th cozy featuring Lara McClintoch (after 2006's The Orkney Scroll), the Canadian globe-trotting antiques expert first faces peril from an Asian organized crime gang, the Golden Lotus, angered by the efforts of Mounty Sgt. Rob Luckza, her significant other, to end its terrorizing of the Chinatown of an unnamed Canadian city that resembles Toronto. Lara keeps a low profile until an old friend, Chinese art historian Dory Matthews, asks her to go to New York to bid on a rare Chinese silver box, but the desired item is brazenly stolen from the auction house. After Dory's sudden death, Lara learns that her friend's will requested that she pursue the box. Lara travels to Beijing, where a series of narrow escapes leaves a trail of bodies in her wake. Despite the often-clunky exposition (both of Chinese history and of the motive behind the crimes), longtime series fans will enjoy seeing McClintoch in action in China. (Apr.)
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Armchair Interviews on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Lara McClintoch is an antiques dealer who faces down an Asian gang called the Golden Lotus that is terrorizing a Canadian city's Chinatown. It seems Lara's significant other, Rob Luczka, a sergeant in the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, has angered the gang and they may be targeting Lara because of her relationship with Rob.

Lara travels to New York and attempts, on behalf of her friend, Dory Matthews, to bid on a rare Tang Dynasty silver box--a box that has added value because the lid is etched with a formula for immortality. It is also a box very similar to one Dory already has.

The box is mysteriously withdrawn from the New York auction and ten days later, Dory is dead. It is learned that the box will be auctioned in Beijing and Lara travels to China (per a request in Dory's will) to bid on the box. Her rival, Burton Haldimand, turns up dead and the race is on. Lara must find the box or she might join Haldimand in death.

The Chinese Alchemist by Lyn Hamilton is the first of her novels that I've read. It's a fun, fast and easy read. Lara McClintoch is interesting, the plot takes some wonderful twists and turns and the Chinese connection is fascinating.

Armchair Interviews says: The Chinese Alchemist is recommended. You might want to check out Lyn Hamilton's other titles.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Former world traveler on May 14, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This mystery series takes readers on trips to famous ancient sites while the protagonist tries to fulfill purchase orders for her upmarket antique store in Toronto. The latest one involves spending time with protagonist in ancient Chinese sites. The sense of place is wonderful but I could have used even more description of the sites as I have never been to China.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. Anderson on August 28, 2007
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Hamilton just gets better and better at bringing together an ancient mystery with a current day missing artifact.

There is also fascinating information on how art auctions work and how the Chinese are trying to prevent their heritage from being sold to foreign collectors.

However, this is not Hamilton's best book as it reads as if it was a longer and denser book and then was edited down, leaving some character development missing and some of the action confusing.

And, add in one too many coincidence.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Margaret M. Robinson on April 28, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This was another of Lynn Hamilton's great books. I've found all her books in this series to be excellent reads and each one is better than the previous. Full of intrigue and not just a simple mystery. She fleshes out her characters and it's one of those "rather sad to have read it all" stories where you don't want it to end.

Highly recommend
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