Madrugada, by Beryl Gorbman, is a mystery set in Yucatan. It is available now as an eBook and will be available in paperback in late September.
Madrugada is about the theft of artifacts from the archaeological site of Yaxum, located in a small Maya village of the same name. One of the archaeologists is ritualistically murdered with a huge obsidian axe and it is up to Miriam Glass, a detective from New York, and Jose Luis Contreras, a police captain with the Yucatan state police, to solve the grisly crime.
The secondary theme of the book is the effect of outside influence on a naive, isolated village. An encampment of American archaeologists has taken up residence in Yaxum and there are ramifications – good and bad.
There are two protagonists – Ms. Glass, and the head man of Yaxum, Avram Ek Caab. Miriam and Avram, although from different worlds, share important values.
In this, the second Miriam Glass book, Miriam explores her relationship with Captain Contreras.
Madrugada is based on a real village and a real archaeological site. Some of the less sensationalistic events are true. I wrote most of it some years ago, and just finished it recently. I have been to the village discussed in the book, may times. There was a real head man of this village, who I knew. He was wise, soft-spoken and immersed in Maya magic, as is the character in this book. And the American archaeologist who ran the dig had a personality remakably similar to Dr. Frey in this book. A lot of the anecdotes in regard to Frey are based on real events.
And of course, the book includes many bizarre American expats, based on real people who were in Merida in the 80s. Some of them even retain their real names! I can only pray that their relatives sue me. I can use the publicity.
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