Jungle Jeopardy

Secrets by the Sea


By Mary Montague Sikes

Jungle Jeopardy is an adventure story set in Central America where an unknown number of Maya ruins remain hidden beneath giant overgrowths of jungle foliage. An unplanned trip to the ruins uncovered at Palenque inspired Sikes to connect them to her story. While vacationing in Huatulco on the Pacific coast of Mexico, she, her husband, and a friend chartered a small airplane to fly into a grass air field located near the Palenque ruins. Climbing among the rocky remains and entering the ancient buildings once hidden by the jungle, Sikes gazed across the wild dense tropical rain forests of Guatemala and wondered about the lost history of the ruins. While there she took dozens of photographs and turned many of them into a series of large Maya ruins paintings.


Later, she researched the Maya and was shocked to learn that although the Guatemalan Highlands were home to the Maya from pre-classic times, little is known today about their culture because books and records of their civilization were destroyed by the Spanish conquerors. She also found out that of the more than 100 archeological sites in Guatemala, only a few have been uncovered. That started her thinking about "what if” Dana, her heroine from Secrets by the Sea, and Clifton, the hero from that book, wound up in Central America and found some of those lost ruins. The result is a quest to uncover a treasure with some "Indiana Jones” type exploits along the way.


Jungle jeopardy
When Dana Sinclair realizes Clifton Wilder is missing, she takes off for Costa Rica to search for him. An apparent kidnapping turns into a jungle adventure that leads Dana and Clifton into the wilds of Guatemala where they discover an unexplored Maya cave and find pottery and walls covered with glyphs. Tyler Hunter wants to save Dana’s sister, Rebecca, from prison, and to do so, he needs for them to find her grandfather’s hidden treasure. An archaeologist on sabbatical in the Caribbean, Tyler intrigues Dana with his knowledge of the Maya. Dana has never doubted her sister’s guilt in the murder of their grandfather on the island of Antigua, but now an element of doubt begins to creep in.

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