Lee Alvarez and The Drop-Dead Temple of Doom

Drop Dead Temple of Doom book cover

You never know where life is going to take you. I was reminded of that one Sunday morning quite recently, as I was sitting in a lounge chair on my back deck reading a Somerset Maugham novel on my ereader. That was when Life struck.

You never know about proclamations, either. I like to say I’m never going anywhere I can’t plug in my hot rollers. Or where there don’t have a Starbucks. So, where do I wind up not eight hours later on that Sunday? The wild and steamy jungles of Guatemala. Not only was there no electricity or Starbucks, there were exotic animals, such as large cats, wandering around. And I don’t mean the domestic kind.

Now I like adventure as much as the next person. Well, not really. True, I am the in-house investigator for the family-owned detective agency, Discretionary Inquiries, and I’ve stumbled over a dead body or two in my time. But my idea of roughing it is sitting in an air-conditioned office trying to sort out who is stealing software, hardware, intellectual property or venture capital funding. You know, Silicon Valley’s bread and butter.

But I guess it was only to be expected that when someone in the family went missing, they’d call on me. So off I went to the land of the ancient Mayans. Yes, I was in El Mirador Basin searching for a cousin’s missing spouse, my own hubby and mother in tow. Bringing along hubby was definitely my idea. First off, he is a former Navy SEAL. He can handle himself anywhere. As for bringing along mommy, you try telling Lila Hamilton-Alvarez she is not going somewhere when she says she is. Not going to happen.

But I have to say, my mother did come in handy. She knows her way around archaeological stuff and she certainly knew how to keep a miscreant howler monkey in line. But even primates know not to mess around with my mother. She may look and act like a lady, but beneath that cool, blonde exterior are the chops of a prize fighter. So between poison darts, missing artifacts, ancient Mayan curses, and earthquakes, I was glad she was by my side.

But don’t tell her that.

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