Yucatán Is Murder, sixth in the Ben Candidi Mystery series, is a hard-boiled science-driven mystery-thriller set in Mexico and featuring science- and tech-savvy amateur sleuths.
In the coastal scrubland of Yucatán, Mexico, circling vultures lead vacationing scientist, Ben Candidi, to a corpse. As in an ancient Mayan sacrificial rite, the victim's chest was cut open and heart removed. Ben had fit the vacation around the public health project of his soul mate, Rebecca Levis. But plans change drastically when Rebecca recognizes the face as B'alam Chuc, a student at her host university.
Why was B'alam dressed as a peasant, and what is the meaning of the hieroglyph writings found in his pocket? The police insist it was a robbery, and the social welfare bureaucracy does little to help the traditional Mayan parents, who speak no Spanish. When B'alam's eight-year old brother, Ichik, asks for help, Ben's sixth investigation swings into action. As Ben and Rebecca use their knowledge of Mayan history and culture to interpret clues from the neglected crime scene, the picture of an evil and debauched criminal conspiracy emerges. The truth about B'alam may come at a high price.