Lyn Elizabeth Hamilton
{ "" }
Share Lyn's life story with friends and family
Send an Email
Or Copy this URL to Share
LYN ELIZABETH HAMILTON August 6, 1944 - September 10, 2009 Smart, funny, creative, strong, loyal and brave - Lyn was all these and more. Beloved daughter of John (deceased) and Gwen Hamilton and cherished sister and sister-in-law of Cheryl Hamilton and Michael Cushing. She is also fondly remembered by the Collins family, her uncle Harris (aunt Elizabeth is deceased) Collins and cousins Peter, Kelly and Nicki. Lyn had many friends. A group of the closest helped her celebrate her 65th birthday last month with a party filled with laughter and love. Lyn kept her battle with cancer private, but the few friends who knew provided wonderful support during her illness. She had a great career, moving back and forth between public service and the private sector, working in public affairs, communications and program management. Then at the age of 50, she decided to add a writing career, using her lifelong interest in archeology to create a mystery series. The first of 11 novels, The Xibalba Murders, was published in 1997 and was nominated for an Arthur Ellis Award for best first crime novel in Canada. The eighth, The Magyar Venus, was nominated for an Ellis for best crime novel. These books feature feisty heroine Lara McClintoch, who owns an antiques store in Lyn's hometown of Toronto and travels the world for her business, solving murders along the way. Lyn managed to write and promote most of her novels during vacations, unpaid leaves and weekends. The books reflect her passion for heritage and culture, her sense of humour and her love of travel. She was Director of Public Affairs for the Canadian Opera Company, where she worked with many others to bring a new opera house to reality, an accomplishment that gave her much joy. Before that, she was Director of the Cultural Programs Branch in the Ontario government. In her earlier days in the government, she worked on women's issues and was particularly proud of a ground-breaking public awareness campaign on domestic violence. She was involved in education and mentoring of new writers. Over the years, she worked with over 100 authors on their manuscripts. She was writer-in-residence for the public libraries in North York and Kitchener. She taught a mystery and suspense writing course at the School for Continuing Studies at her alma mater, University of Toronto. Words of thanks to the Princess Margaret Hospital, especially Dr. Jennifer Knox, Dr. Ann Horgan, Heidi, Bettina and Odette for hanging in with us, all the nurses in chemo daycare who always remember names and care how you are doing, and more recently to Dr. John Bryson and Erin for compassionate palliative care. Thanks also to Lourdes Cardano, nursing supervisor at Briton House, who has watched over Lyn's mom while Cheryl supported Lyn. There will be no funeral service, at Lyn's request. A celebration with friends will be held later. Condolences may be posted at If you wish, a donation in Lyn's name to the Canadian Opera Company or the Princess Margaret Hospital would be appreciated.

To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in Toronto Star from Sep. 12 to Sep. 14, 2009.
Memories & Condolences
Not sure what to say?
22 entries
October 6, 2009
I hope you remember the Burnet family and our association with your family. I was sorry to hear of Lyn's death. I enjoyed her books so much and had been in touch with her years ago because of them. My heartfelt sympathy. Barbara Burnet Colley
Barbara Colley
September 22, 2009
Lyn was my Communications Director when I first began working for the Ontario government. Her sense of humour and her formidable knowledge of public relations were awesome. She was one of the nicest people one could work with, and to this day I continue to use the skills she taught me. It was very sad to read about her passing.
Matt Blajer
September 16, 2009
Having worked with Lyn, with ease I can attest her to have been a brilliant woman, a most exceptional role model and truly, one who inspired and encouraged. Sincerest condolences.
Luanne Walker
September 15, 2009
Generous does not begin to describe Lyn Hamilton. When I arrived at my very first Bouchercon as a freshman author with only one book under my belt, Lyn did not hesitate to include me at her table for lunch. She became my mentor and close friend. We traveled together, shared rooms and wine and joked often (especially over this crazy business of ours). She had such class and I have never -- will never -- know anyone like her. A dear friend gone too soon. (Victoria Houston)
Victoria Houston
September 15, 2009
She was an inspiration - lived her dream to become a writer. Follow your passion is what I learned from her.
September 14, 2009
I first met Lyn when she reviewed one of my manuscripts and, like most (all?) novice writers, couldn't fathom why she didn't rave over it. But her comments were encouraging and given with compassion and sincerity. I hope they made me a better writer. Sleep well, Lyn.
Alan Bland
September 14, 2009
As Lyn's editor for more than 10 years, I got to know her as a true professional but also as a friend. She was a gifted writer and a warm, generous person with a great sense of humor. I will miss her dearly.
Natalee Rosenstein
September 13, 2009
The mystery world has lost one of the loviest ladies around. We'll miss you, Lyn.
L. C. Hayden
September 13, 2009
I will always recall that amazing day Lyn telephoned across the country and gave me a good half hour of writer's advice and support. I know from speaking with her and reading her work that she was intelligent, humorous, generous . . . and am so sad I will never be able to meet her.
Rachel Greenaway
September 12, 2009
Lyn was a shining example of what many of us strive so hard to become. I'm astounded at the impact she had in so many fields other than mystery writing, which was how we met. She'll live on in our hearts and our memories through her wonderful books, all of which I have read and will re-read often. Rest in peace. Sincerely,
Jan Oddie
Jan Oddie
September 12, 2009
From the moment I first met Lyn I knew I had a friend. She was so warm, kind and above all she was genuine. Lyn was the real deal. Whenever I was at gatherings, I sought her out so I could sit next to her. She was fun to be with. In losing Lyn we've lost a lot. While her passing saddens us, I turn what Hugo wrote in Les Miserables, about transforming the grief which sees only a pit into the grief which sees a star.
Rick Mofina
September 12, 2009
I'm so sorry to hear about Lyn. She was such a lovely person - I will miss her.
Elizabeth de Vries
September 12, 2009
So sorry to hear such sad news. I've read nearly all her books and was sad that she was no longer writing them, but never suspected she was so ill. When I last spoke to her she seemed the same as ever, intelligent and matter-of-fact. She will be missed.
N. J. Lindquist
September 12, 2009
You were one classy and talented lady, Lyn. We'll miss you and your wonderful series.
Lou Allin
September 12, 2009
I am indeed dazzled by the list of Lyn's accomplishments, but I knew her mainly as a writer and saw her only on many occasions over the years related to crime writing. Still I was greeted every time as a welcome friend. I grieve her passing.
Linda Morse
September 12, 2009
Such sad news. Lynn was a fine writer and a lovely person -- helpful, smart and funny. Her passing leaves a hole in the mystery writing community.
Elaine Viets
September 12, 2009
Lyn was one of the smartest women I know. "We started our writing life about the same time and it was always great to share things with her along the way. She will be sorely missed. Maureen Jennings (Toronto)
Maureen Jennings
September 12, 2009
Lyn was a dear, dear friend. She was all the things mentioned in her obit and more. She fought long and hard against the cancer and she made the most of every day. I shall treasure my memories of her
Rhys Bowen
September 12, 2009
So shocking and so sorry to hear this.
Lyn was one of the nicest people you could know
Iden Ford
September 12, 2009
Like all truly fine human beings, Lyn did not trumpet her accomplishments. I expect many of us reading her obituary will be surprised and dazzled by how much she changed the world in her too short life. She will be missed.
Gail Bowen
Gail Bowen
September 12, 2009
I am very sorry to hear of Lyn's passing--a wonderful person , a very fine mystery writer and excellent volunteer& team player for many years in the Crime Writers of Canada. RIP--we shall always have your entertaining archeological Lara McClintoch mysteries !...sincerely James Dubro
james dubro
September 12, 2009
Lyn, I cannot wrap my poor aching head around that fact that I will never again know the pleasure of your company, read any of your words, hear your voice, hear your laugh. I have lost a great and fierce friend, and I hope you knew how much you will be missed by all of us.
Rick Blechta
Invite others to add memories
Share to let others add their own memories and condolences