Review | Olmec Obituary (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth #1) by L.J.M. Owen


Title: Olmec Obituary (Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth #1) by L.J.M. Owen

Publisher: Bonnier Publishing Australia

Published: May 15th, 2015

Average Goodreads rating: 3.58

My rating: 4

Archaeologist Dr Elizabeth Pimms thoroughly enjoys digging up old skeletons.

But when she is called home from Egypt after a family loss, she has to sacrifice her passions for the sake of those around her.

Attempting to settle into her new role as a librarian, while also missing her boyfriend, Elizabeth is distracted from her woes by a new mystery: a royal Olmec cemetery, discovered deep in the Mexican jungle, with a 3000-year-old ballplayer who just might be a woman.

She soon discovers there are more skeletons to deal with than those covered in dirt and dust.

Suitable for readers young and old, Olmec Obituary is the first novel in a delightful cosy crime series: Dr Pimms, Intermillennial Sleuth. Really cold cases.


I had been wanting to get my hands on this book for ages. It took a while because none of the libraries I am associated with had it or would bring it in and I just didn’t have it in my budget to pay full price for this book. However, Lady Luck was finally on my side and I was able to pick this up as an e-book for $2. Woohoo! For over a year I had been waiting to dig into this story so as soon as I could I jumped right in.

This story, and presumably the others in the series, revolve around a modern woman and archaeologist solving mysteries both modern and thousands of years old. As an enthusiastic lover of ancient history, that is right up my alley. My greatest love is ancient Egypt but Rome, Mesoamerica, the vikings…it is all fascinating to me. My passion for all things ancient as well as a good mystery made this book a near perfect fit for me.

Our main character, Dr. Elizabeth Pimms, was, unfortunately, a little difficult to relate to. She was interesting and highly, highly intelligent as well as flawed as all good characters should be but at the same time she was a bit stale. Elizabeth had recently gone through some emotional upheaval due to the death of her father and her career being derailed because of that. After his death, she has to return home from her very first archaeological dig to  become the family breadwinner so that her grandparents and siblings can remain in the family home. You know, good for her for doing that but at the same time she spends most of the book complaining about it which was frustrating. I understand that you wanted to do something else with your life, Elizabeth, but quit your bitching. Life doesn’t go the way we plan, deal with it. Fact.

Once the story gets into the mystery things get a good bit more interesting. It no longer focuses to much on the whiny, neediness of Dr. Pimms and instead on this group of women and girls from Mesoamerica over 3000 years ago. The group had been found buried in the ruins of a temple and Dr. Pimms help is requested by a shady archaeologist to study them. However, Elizabeth uncovers information which makes the dig sight appear staged and she is dismissed with great venom from working with the remains. Determined to uncover the truth, Elizabeth embarks on the challenge of proving her theories about the dig being staged and attempting to uncover the truth about the group of remains.

I would have liked to have seen a little more about the women who the remains belonged to. The flashbacks to when they were alive were engrossing and easily one of my favorite parts. I also enjoyed the familial interactions between Elizabeth and her family as her grandfather has some spunk.

Overall, a very enjoyable read and I thought that the conclusion tied everything together very nicely. The so-called bad guy wasn’t exactly who I thought it would be which also was great. I hate when I guess correctly. So, if you love a mystery with some ancient history tie-ins, this is the book for you. I am looking forward to reading the next in the series to see how Dr. Pimms grows and expands as a person as well as whatever mystery she stumbles into next.


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