The Totem of Nehual is something of a Maltese Falcon. Many have spent long periods of their life searching for it, spending vast sums of money, and in the end never finding it, or only finding it long enough to lose it.
It looks like a cook's book. It is a cook's book. It is also where the cook, who happened to be a master spy, encoded all his secrets and contacts. The book has innocently fallen into your group's hands. Everyone wants it, and many are not subtle or peaceful in their attempts.