The Merchant of Death
Sub-Title: A Mayan Mystery
Series: Book 1 of the Cycle of Xhól
Published: November 9, 2014
Author: Cécile Chabot
Genre: Historical Mystery
Formats Available: print (limited quantities available to qualified reviewers/bloggers only) pdf, kindle, epub, mobi
A corpse, a wrongly-accused hunter, and a painter with an unquenchable thirst for justice.
17 May 679 AD: Xhól—a painter, a sculptor, and a cripple—discovers on the same day a dead man and that life can get complicated in Dos Pilas, a small Mayan settlement caught in the power struggle between Tikal and Calakmul, the two mighty city-states. The victim is a rich merchant just come back from a long trade journey in the North.
Unwittingly, Xhól directs the suspicions on One Hunter; One Hunter whom he believes to be innocent. As a result, Xhól feels compelled. Compelled to look for the real culprit. Compelled to wonder about the intrigues of the royal court. Compelled to bear with the sneers that the able-bodied throw at his limp.
When the news come that Tikal is launching an attack on Dos Pilas, the warriors ready themselves for combat. The Ajaw, lord of Dos Pilas, wants to close the case of the murdered merchant before his departure and decides that One Hunter will be executed on the morning the army leaves for war… Unless Xhól discovers the killer before.
Fans of Ellis Peters will delight in following the adventures of Xhól, as unlikely an investigator as Brother Cadfael, in the first installment of this sixteen book-long series, the Cycle of Xhól.
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