This is an historical series set in the Classic Period of the Maya civilization (250-900 CE). The protagonist is an adviser to the King and works at his royal decree to investigate crimes and solve murders. He is a former warrior whose victories have granted him this position.
These are not cozy mysteries, as they have a fair amount of action and violence on the dangerous streets of Tikal or skulking through the darkened passages of a pyramid. This is why I call them mayanoir. This detective is not merely cerebral–he has to get his hands dirty. In the course of these quests, he often has to resort to his combat training and brawn. His face reflects it. He has suffered beatings and given beatings. His nose is flattened and he has the cauliflower ears of a fighter. His Lord often calls him Sotz’ or “Bat” because of his flattened nose.
A scribe accompanies the detective and records the cases in a series of folded-page codices.