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The Orkney Scroll (Archaeological Mysteries, No. 10) Hardcover – April 4, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Hardcover (April 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425208001
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425208007
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #811,939 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In Hamilton's entertaining 10th archeological mystery featuring Canadian antiques dealer Lara McClintoch (after 2005's The Moai Murders), one of Lara's colleagues, Trevor Wylie, sells a local collector a supposedly authentic Charles Rennie Mackintosh writing cabinet. After the cabinet is revealed to be a fake, Trevor turns up dead. Lara's determination to find out who knocked off Trevor—and who's getting rich knocking off forged antiques—leads her to Scotland's Orkney Islands. What begins as a simple case of furniture fraud gets endlessly more complicated. For starters, Lara keeps running into people she knows from back home, like Trevor's girlfriend, who is bereft not because of heartbreak but because Trevor died owing her money. In a plot that verges on being overly complex, Lara has to contend with ancient treasure maps, a Viking legend, drug-running, money laundering and another murder. Still, Hamilton is a funny writer. Lara's culture shock in super-friendly Orkney is especially humorous. (Apr.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

From Booklist

The tenth in Hamilton's witty Archeological Mystery series has Toronto antique-store owner Lara McClintoch chasing an art nouveau writing cabinet from Canada to Glasgow to the Orkney Islands. The day after one of Lara's clients discovers that the rare Charles Mackintosh cabinet he purchased is a copy, Lara discovers the body of an antiques dealer, the one who sold her client the fake cabinet, with an axe in his skull. Two things are at stake for McClintoch: her own reputation and that of her client, arrested for the dealer's murder. Believing that the dealer may have been the victim of a bait-and-switch, McClintoch traces the real writing cabinet's provenance and follows the paper trail that emerges. Although the plotting is a bit slapdash, the antiques background is satisfyingly detailed, and the descriptions of Glasgow and the Orkneys are enchanting. A great read for fans of Jonathan Gash's Lovejoy series. Connie Fletcher
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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And if a novel can make me feel that way... more power to it!
R S Cobblestone
Lyn Hamilton draws the local area and its weather, flora and fauna into the story.
Barbara K. Davis
She is a very good story teller, and does her research on the story's backround.
Mystery Fan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Kathleen A. Schelberg on April 14, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Lara McClintoch is an appealing sleuth/antique dealer with a shop in Toronto. When a Mackintosh writing cabinet she hurriedly authenticates for a client is found to be a replica she is taken aback and begins a quest to discover whether she was as mistaken as others would like her to believe. As Lara sleuths she discovers a body or two and explores Orkney with descriptive visits to archeolgocial sites from Viking times. This is an enjoyable mystery with an engaging heroine and an interesting locale. The end, where the mystery is revealed and all loose ends are tied up, seemed to come a bit abruptly for my taste. I would have enjoyed lingering over the solutions for a bit longer.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Evelyn S. Hlabse on July 31, 2006
Format: Hardcover
This book is wonderful. I love murder mysteries set in unusual places but to find one set in Orkney was even better. As a native Orcadian now living in the U.S., it was unbelievable to find myself walking down the streets of my childhood passed St. Magnus Cathedral, Tankerness House and visiting the incredible archealogical sites of Orkney. The book is worth reading for the descriptions of Orkney and Orcadians. I was stunned how accurate it was and very happy about it. Even the restaurant (The Foveran) where the characters had dinner one evening was right on - I've eaten there on both of my recent trips to Orkney. The story in itself is spell binding and believable. I'd recommend this to everyone who loves a good murder mystery not to mention a wonderful place to visit. I've got to read more of Lyn Hamilton's books. I am sure that they will be as accurate as this one.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R S Cobblestone VINE VOICE on July 20, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Wow! This is my first Lyn Hamilton book. In it, antiques store owner Lara McClintoch uncovers a mystery, dogs it to Scotland, and... the adventures begin!

Hamilton has developed an intelligent and thoughtful character in one Lara McClintoch. Whether this shows my ignorance, gullibility, or quick wit, I felt like I was learning history, the antiques business, and the geography of this part of Scotland. And if a novel can make me feel that way... more power to it!

The story was engaging, the characters believable, and the interspersion of the legend/history of Bjarni the Wanderer with Lara's travels was well coordinated.

Recommended! And I hope I get another chance to read more of Hamilton's work.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Liz at reviewedbyliz.com on February 22, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I must admit that I was predisposed to like this book. I love history and archaeology and was really looking forward to reading what was billed as an intelligent archaeological mystery. So I was a little surprised that there wasn't more of a focus on the archaeological theme. Don't get me wrong, the book was still good, it just wasn't quite as advertised. What the book is mostly about is the main character, Lara McClintoch (an antiques dealer), trying to figure out how she messed up on an authentication of a rare Mackintosh writing cabinet, which turns out to be a fake. The man who bought the cabinet chops it to pieces with an ax when he finds out it is a fake and the dealer who sold it to him is subsequently found murdered with the same ax. Needless to say, Lara feels a little guilty and confused because she really thought the desk was genuine.

There are several things I like about this book. First, Lara doesn't drop everything and run off to investigate. This is the real world, after all, and she has to look after her business. So she sits and stews about the problem for some time before doing anything about it. And when she does do something, she follows her few leads logically and then bumbles around when they run out. This is a very realistic approach that the reader can appreciate and relate to.

However, this book suffers from a severe case of coincidence that tosses this lovely organic buildup right out the window. When all of the possible suspects end up in a remote corner of the world at the same time, you expect them all to traipse into the castle for a midnight game of Murder on a dark and stormy night. But even with this serious lapse on the part of the author, the book is well worth your time.

Did I guess it? No. Will I read more? Absolutely.

Mystery Book Reviews by Liz at [...]
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Snowbrocade VINE VOICE on January 11, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The Orkney Scroll is the tenth installment in the series of archeological mysteries by Lyn Hamilton. The protagonist is Lara, an antique dealer who lives in Toronto. The murder of one of her wealthy clients seems to be tied to his purchase of a piece of furniture authenticated by Lara, that turned out to be a fake. Lara is convinced that the piece of furniture was authentic and attempts to discover the origins of both the fake and the real furniture. The trail leads to Edinburgh and then to Orkney.

Hamilton's descriptions of Orkney are vivid and realistic. This isolated island group has some amazing archeological sites and Hamilton does a nice job of integrating history, descriptions of archeological sites and an intruiging murder mystery. Her characters are interesting and lively. The prose is smooth and well plotted. An enjoyable armchair read!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on April 4, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Toronto antique dealer Lara McClintoch owns McClintoch & Swain in partnership with her husband Clive. She has a terrific reputation one that she proudly wants to keep because multibillionaires like Blair Baldwin buy from her as much for her honesty as her expertise. Blair is purchasing an expensive writing desk from dealer Trevor Wylie if Lara authenticates it as an original.

Although she does not have enough time to examine the desk in minute detail, Lara believes it is genuine; Blair buys it and invites high society to attend a gala showcasing it. However, Lara realizes from the design of the lock that the desk is a fake. Blair goes berserk chopping the desk up with an ax, and soon afterward Trevor is dead and the wealthy patron is arrested as the person with motive and the weapon an ax. Lara checks Trevor's records along with the police and notices two object that look like the desks came from the Orkney Islands off Scotland. Wanting to repair her damaged name, Lara travels to the Orkney Islands not realizing the danger that awaits her there with a second murder occurring.

Armchair travelers love the Lara McClintoch mysteries as she always visits an exotic locale that is vividly drawn so that readers will believe they accompany the heroine as she conducts a fantastic whodunit investigation. Filled with plenty of historical information cleverly interwoven into a fabulous whodunit, THE ORKNEY SCROLL is one of the best entries in a powerful amateur sleuth series as Lara knows what is at stake for her and for her client. Lyn Hamilton has produced another exemplary winner.

Harriet Klausner
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