I need to mention I received this book from GoodReads giveaways.
In the second book of Lara McClintoch Archeological Mystery Lara goes to Malta to decorate a client's house with furniture he bought from her. Anybody including Lara would consider going in the middle of Canadian winter to a country in the middle of Mediterranean sea to do a job which is not exactly physically demanding a vacation. In Lara's case it turned out to be anything but. At first there was a cultural clash with some very hilarious results, later some mysterious people tried to get her scared for the reasons unknown and finally a dead body shows up. In short Lara got much more excitement from her so-called vacation than she bargained for.
My first disclaimer would be my fairly common complaint and a question: who writes the blurbs? The one for this book gives half of the fun away and reveals something which happened in the last quarter of pages; avoid reading it if you have any intention at all to read, or even look at the book.
This novel is a definite improvement over the series' debut. My major complaint about the latter was Lara's mental abilities, or the lack of thereof. This time I was on a lookout for her idiocy and I was surprised by the fact that she acted like a complete retard exactly once. She also made a highly questionable choice in the very end, but I am not going to discuss it to avoid spoilers.
Another positive side of the novel: how many works of literature can you recall which take place on Malta? According to the book this is a very colorful place, but California - as an example - really beats it as a popular place for a book settings. Some scattered bits of Malta history were good and interesting.
I mentioned scattered bits of Malta history; they really were tiny bits. I would love to have more info, like Mayan history in the first book - something the latter has done right. The Goddess poem in the beginning of every chapter was overdone and did not do much, or anything at all for the novel. To my surprise despite the series' title there was no archeology involved at all.
Lara's attitude can surely use some improvement. She behaves like a (stereo)typical suburban dweller that badmouths police for any reason and without one, but runs to them for help at the first sign of trouble. Her behavior toward one of the policemen is not excusable, period. It was not as noticeable in the first book, but it is here.
One more observation and a question: do people from Toronto really consider -15C to be a deep freeze, like it was mentioned by Lora? In other places of Canada this temperature makes a nice and warm winter day.
Considering all of the good and bad parts this is still a fast read which deserves 3 firm stars.
This review is a copy/paste of my BookLikes one: http://gene.booklikes.com/post/1006608/the-second-book-of-the-series-definitely-shows-some-improvements