I used this guide during my three weeks in Nicaragua and enjoyed the excellent writing style. His accommodations and restaurants recommendations are up-to-date and reliable. I found his recommendations to always be valid and that says a lot about a guide.
Hutchison's writing is succinct and unencumbered by the superfluous. He gives you a solid mental picture, within a paragraph or two, of what to expect and how you can enjoy it. I also enjoyed his "Further Reading & Cinema" sections that he has with each country.
Because this guide covers all of Central America and Mexico, the history, economic, culture and environment sections are abbreviated and you may wish for more. Thus, if you are going to visit just one country, as I did, you may want to buy only that country's guide. For Nicaragua I also bought "Moon Travel - Nicaragua". (see my review)
The guide could improve it's weak, mediocre maps. Also frustrating, in all Footprint guides, is the use a price guide for accommodations. Instead of just stating the price per room, Footprint gives you a cumbersome group of letters that correspond to the cost of the room. The problem is that you may forget that LL=$... and up. Or that the letter "A" next to a hotel means it costs around $... So you have to find the legion again and figure it out. You would think that as many years as FootPrint has been around, they would have realized that just quoting the cost of the room in dollars is the best way.
Also, there was no mention by Hutchison regarding the rising problems with crime and gangs in Managua (Capital of Nicaragua). In fact he recommends seeing the old Cathedral "at night" and, for the past few years, this is and has been, a dangerous area for violent crime. In fact, when I asked to go to this area in the daytime, even then the taxi driver told me be careful using the words: "peligroso, peligroso". While I was there I talked with the Cathedral's resident shoe shine man and he also told me the area was very dangerous at night, and he leaves every day at 5pm because "me gusto mi vida."
That said, this is a very impressive guide which I strongly recommend for those going to various Central American Countries. Strongly Recommended 4.5 stars