Tag Archives: Gigi Pandian

A day in the life with Jaya Jones by Gigi Pandian

I love my cozy attic apartment, with my tabla drums in the corner and sloping ceilings above. And I adore my miniscule office in the history department, filled with books and a steady flow of undergraduate students.

I’m a historian, which in my life means that in addition to teaching I’m a history detective who unravels centuries-old mysteries all over the world. This week, however, I’ve traveled over 5,000 miles from home for a different reason.

It was oh-so-tempting to stay home during my university’s weeklong Thanksgiving break, but seeing my best friend Sanjay perform a magic show in Japan was too good an offer to pass up. Sanjay performs as The Hindi Houdini, and he was invited by Japan’s most famous stage magician to be the opening act of a televised magic show.

That’s how I ended up here in Kyoto, Japan. But instead of sightseeing, I find myself being chased by a ninja who’s attempting to sabotage the magic show.

A ninja? Yes, a ninja. A warrior from ancient Japanese culture. I don’t actually think I’ve fallen through time. But there’s a man dressed as a ninja to disguise his identity and throw us off balance. So far, it’s working.

I thought that while Sanjay was practicing his magic act I’d have time to be a tourist and do a bit of my own historical sleuthing in Japan. Silly me. Instead of having time to look into a phantom Dutch trading ship that went missing as it sailed from India to Japan 150 years ago, I’ve had to turn my attention to helping my friend stay alive and make a splash with his Japanese debut. Wish me luck!


You can read more about Jaya in The Ninja’s Illusion, the 5th book in the “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” mystery series.

A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed. . .

When Jaya Jones travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.

With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim. Perfect for fans of Elizabeth Peters.

“A beautifully complex, fast-paced mystery—a well-crafted blend of modern magic and ancient secrets, full of compelling characters and set in one of Japan’s most beautiful—and mysterious—locations.” – Susan Spann, Author of the Hiro Hattori Mysteries

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Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a set of 8 book-themed recipe cards. U.S. entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 6, 2017. Good luck everyone!

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About the author
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard vegetable garden.

Gigi’s novels have been described as a cross between Indiana Jones and Agatha Christie. She writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, Quicksand, Michelangelo’s Ghost, and The Ninja’s Illusion), the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist, The Masquerading Magician, and The Elusive Elixir), and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and shortlisted for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Learn more at gigipandian.com, sign up for Gigi’s newsletter here, and find her on Facebook.

All comments are welcomed.

A day in the life of Zoe Faust by Gigi Pandian

the-elusive-elixirLess than a year ago, I parked my Airstream trailer and bought a crumbling Craftsman house in Portland, Oregon. I’ve been welcomed into a wonderful circle of friends who congregate at Blue Sky Teas, found myself falling for a complicated and wonderful man, and grown a thriving backyard garden that feeds my body and soul. It almost sounds like a normal life, something I never thought I’d have.

But then there’s the gargoyle.

My best friend Dorian Robert-Houdin is a three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle who’s a gourmet chef and fancies himself a modern-day Poirot. His body is the color of stone, so he does indeed have little grey cells. Or at least I suppose they’re cells, since he’s every bit as alive as I am.

Dorian was once a stone carving intended for Notre Dame in Paris, but 150 years ago he was brought to life through alchemy. When Dorian sought me out here in Portland, asking for help deciphering an ancient book of alchemy, I was startled but didn’t run away screaming. That’s because I’m an alchemist. I accidentally discovered the Elixir of Life over 300 years ago.

Dorian has a talent for getting into trouble. But to be fair to him, one of his problems is very real. And it’s why I’ve traveled from Portland to Paris, France this week.

My friend is slowly turning back to stone. Far from being a natural death, soon he’ll be wide awake but trapped in unmoving stone—unless I can discover the secrets of an ancient book of alchemy that’s linked to Notre Dame.

Unfortunately, the two of us have attracted some unwanted attention. Dorian would rather be cooking vegan feasts, and I’d rather be gardening and spending time with Max Liu, but between a missing bookseller, a WWII survivor who discovered my secret, and a long-lost relative, we won’t be relaxing any time soon.

Instead I find myself fleeing Paris for the second time in my life, hoping my troubles in Paris don’t follow me back to Portland. If they do, I have a feeling I won’t be able to stop Dorian from playing detective. Please wish me luck. I’m going to need it.


THE ELUSIVE ELIXIR is the third book in the Accidental Alchemist mystery series published by Midnight Ink, January 2017. A few of Dorian’s favorite vegan recipes are included in the back of the book.

Dorian Robert-Houdin, the three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle chef who fancies himself a modern-day Poirot, is slowly turning into stone, and it’s up to Zoe Faust to unravel the alchemical secrets that can save him. When they discover that a long-lost stone gargoyle with a connection to Dorian has reappeared in Europe, the stakes are even higher. From Portland to Paris, Zoe searches for the hidden knowledge she needs, but a cold case that harkens back to 1942 throws her off course. With an ailing friend desperately trying to discover his own elixir of life and a new romantic interest offering the first chance at love she’s had in nearly a century, Zoe is torn between a dangerous form of alchemy and her desire for a safer life.

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About the author
Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental gigi-pandianAlchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. A cancer diagnosis in her 30s taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment. Gigi spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard garden. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards, and her most recent novel Michelangelo’s Ghost was recently named a “Best of 2016” cozy mystery by Suspense Magazine.

Visit her at gigipandian.com, connect with her on Facebook and Twitter (@GigiPandian) and sign up for her email newsletter here.

All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a set of 7 book-themed recipe cards. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends January 15, 2017. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Jaya Jones by Gigi Pandian

michelangelos-ghostI’m sitting on a hilltop overlooking sprawling vineyards of the Italian countryside, drinking what might be the greatest espresso I’ve tasted in my life, with rich chocolate overtones and the sweet scent of apricots. I should be enjoying myself. Who in their right mind could feel apprehensive in this idyllic setting? Yet I can’t stop glancing over my shoulder whenever the wind rustles the branches of the nearby pomegranate trees.

I wish I could lie to myself and believe, at least for a few moments, that I’ve traveled to a romantic Renaissance garden in Italy as a fun vacation before I return to San Francisco to teach history to college students. Unfortunately, that’s not why I’m here.

I’m in Italy to find a treasure of art history that’s been lost for five centuries—and to unmask a killer ghost.

How did this happen? I don’t even believe in ghosts, yet here I am being haunted by a ghost story that’s linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead Italian artist and the murderous deeds of a present-day killer who’s hiding behind a ghost story.

At least… I’m almost certain it’s not actually a ghost haunting this sculpture garden built by an eccentric Italian nobleman in the 1500s.

This is how I got here: Last month, I was shocked by the death of a professor I once knew well. Her death occurred soon after she discovered sketchbooks of a Renaissance painter that pointed to a treasure located in Italy’s Park of Monsters. She called me because the priceless artwork showed a previously unknown connection between Italy and India, which she knew would pique my interest.

I was born in India and my family moved to California when I when I was a child. The connections between India and the West have always fascinated me, which is why I became a historian specializing in India’s colonial history. How could I resist looking into a missing link between India and Italy’s artwork during the Renaissance? Especially one that might involve one of the most famous artists of all time: Michelangelo. After my professor died under strange circumstances, I couldn’t resist finishing what she started. So here I am picking up the trail. If you’ll excuse me, I’m late for a date with a ghost at the Park of Monsters.


Michelangelo’s Ghost is the fourth Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, published by Henery Press, October 2016.

A lost work of art linking India to the Italian Renaissance.
A killer hiding behind a centuries-old ghost story.
And a hidden treasure in Italy’s macabre sculpture garden known as the Park of Monsters. . .

When Jaya’s old professor dies under eerie circumstances shortly after discovering manuscripts that point to a treasure in Italy’s Park of Monsters, Jaya and her brother pick up the trail.

From San Francisco to the heart of Italy, Jaya is haunted by a ghost story inexorably linked to the masterpieces of a long-dead artist and the deeds of a modern-day murderer. Untrustworthy colleagues, disappearing boyfriends, and old enemies—who can Jaya trust when the ghost wails?

Publishers Weekly says: “This book has everything a mystery lover could ask for: ghostly presences, Italian aristocrats, jewel thieves, failed actors, sitar players, and magic tricks, not to mention dabs of authentic history and academic skullduggery.”

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About the author
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and short-listed for Macavity and Agatha Awards. Visit Gigi at gigipandian.com. Keep up to date via her email newsletter and connect on Facebook and Twitter.

gigi-pandian
All comments are welcomed.

Giveaway: Leave a comment below for your chance to win a print copy of six book-themed recipe cards, each featuring one of Gigi’s recipes related to her books. US entries only, please. The giveaway ends October 10, 2016 at 11:59 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Dorian Robert-Houdin by Gigi Pandian

The Masquerading MagicianBonjour. Je m’appelle Dorian Robert-Houdin. Pardon. I will switch to English. Do not be frightened of my appearance. I am a gargoyle. I was brought to life 150 years ago through alchemy.

Perhaps you have heard of my father, Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin. He is often credited as the father of modern stage magic. His friend Eugène Viollet-le-Duc, the architect who restored Notre Dame Cathedral and added a gallery of gargoyles in the 1850s, gave my father one of his gargoyle statues as a gift. My father wished to use the statue as part of a dramatic scene in a magic show, and placed the gift on his stage. Yet when he read from an antique alchemy book he believed was merely a prop. . .voila! I was born.

I have lived most of my life in the shadows. Most people are not ready to believe in a living gargoyle. I cannot adequately express how pleased I am to have found a true home in Portland, Oregon, with alchemist Zoe Faust.

Zoe is helping me decode the book of alchemy that brought me to life. It is an urgent quest, because the sad fact is that my life force is reversing. Soon, if Zoe does not discover Not Untrue Alchemy’s secrets, I will be awake yet trapped in stone forever.

Dawn is breaking, so I have safely made my way through the darkness back to Zoe’s house. I crawled through my secret doorway—a hole in the roof atop the Craftsman house attic—and am now in my favorite room of the house: the kitchen.

As a Frenchman, I have always appreciated the finest foods. I became a chef many years ago, and it is the perfect avocation for me. (How this transpired is a long story, so Dru Ann tells me I must save it for the pages of the novel that tells my story.)

I was once a traditional French chef—until I met Zoe. As an alchemist who immerses herself in her work with plants, Zoe follows a plant-based diet. I admit my first thought upon learning this fact was quelle horreur! Yet she won me over. And after six months with the alchemist, I have become the greatest vegan chef in Portland. Perhaps in all of Oregon.

Zoe tells me I should be more humble, but why should I lie? I have perfected a decadent macaroni and cheese using cashews, discovered substitutions that are more magnifique than the originals, and even improved upon Zoe’s chocolate elixir. I am now the pastry chef at the neighborhood gathering spot, Blue Sky Teas. Of course, everyone besides our young neighbor Brixton believes Zoe to be the pre-dawn chef. C’est la vie. As long as I am able to cook, I am happy.

I wish Zoe could join me for breakfast today, but she is looking into a suspicious pair of stage magicians who have come to town. I do wonder what they are up to, but I have more important matters to attend to. If you will excuse me, it is time to eat.


The Masquerading Magician is the second book in the “Accidental Alchemist” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink, January 2016.

About The Masquerading Magician

Deciphering an ancient alchemy book is more difficult than Zoe Faust bargained for. She’d much rather be gardening and exploring her new home of Portland, Oregon—but time is running out for living gargoyle Dorian Robert-Houdin. If Zoe isn’t able to unlock the alchemy book’s secrets soon, the French gargoyle will remain awake but trapped in stone forever.

When Zoe gives herself a rare night out to attend a classic magic show that reminds her of her youth, she realizes the stage magicians are much more than they seem. A murder at the theater leads back to a string of unsolved robberies and murders in Portland’s past, and a mystery far more personal than Zoe and Dorian ever imagined.

Recipes included!

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All comments are welcomed.

About the author
USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She’s the author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand) as well as the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist and The Masquerading Magician). Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant, the follow-up won the Left Coast Crime Rose Award, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Connect with Gigi on her website at gigipandian.com, on Facebook, on Twitter at @gigipandian, and via her email newsletter.

Giveaway: Leave comment below for your chance to win a print copy of The Masquerading Magician. US entries only, please. The giveaway will end January 19 at 12 AM EST. Good luck everyone!

A Day in the Life of Jaya Jones by Gigi Pandian

QuicksandI don’t usually rob museums. Really, I don’t. Especially not the Louvre. Yet here I am in Paris, wearing a disguise and waiting for the signal.

Perhaps I should back up.

I’m Dr. Jaya Jones, a professor of history in San Francisco. I specialize in India’s colonial history, so I’ve gotten roped into a couple of treasure hunts for lost Indian treasures. But I’ve always been on the right side of the law. I’ve always handed the treasures I’ve found to the proper authorities.

Until now.

How did I get here? It’s the start of spring semester and I’m supposed to be teaching three history courses to undergrads by day, and playing sets of tabla music at the Tandoori Palace by night, with my best friend Sanjay accompanying me on the sitar. Sanjay is probably world’s worst sitar player, but it doesn’t really matter, since we just play for fun. And besides, Raj and I lower the volume on his microphone. Sanjay’s day job is a magician, and that’s where he excels. Maybe you’ve heard of him by his stage name, The Hindi Houdini.

Right now, I should be asleep in my bed after a long day of teaching and a coffee/gossip break with librarian Tamarind Ortega. The only drama in my life should be vivid dreams caused by extra-spicy dinners eaten in between sets of music at the restaurant. I’m not supposed to be on the other side of the world enabling a theft at the world’s most famous museum.

No, I haven’t lost my mind and gone over to the dark side. There’s a very good reason I’m aiding and abetting the theft of a teeny tiny item. . .

I only hope I’m right.

My heart is racing, but if I’m honest with myself, this is the most alive I’ve felt in years. Traveling across France from Paris to the wondrous Les Machines de l’île in Nantes to the ancient fortress of Mont Saint-Michel, with the man I’m falling for at my side, I know that anything is possible.

With the help of ex-thief Lane Peters and Sanjay’s 90-year-old magician friend Sebastien, I’m going to set this right.


You can read more about Jaya in Quicksand, the 3rd book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series, published by Henery Press. The first book in the series is Artifact (winner of the Malice Domestic Grant); the second book in the series is Pirate Vishnu (currently nominated for the Rose Award at Left Coast Crime).

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 12 p.m. eastern on March 20 for the chance to win a copy of Quicksand. The giveaway is open to U.S. residents only. Winner will be notified within 48 hours after giveaway closes and you will have three days to respond after being contacted or another winner will be selected. Make sure to check your SPAM folder.

About the author
Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand and the new Accidental Alchemist mysteries (The Accidental Alchemist). Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” debut mystery by Suspense Magazine, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards. Gigi spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi is the 2015 winner of the “Rose Award” for best mystery novel set in the Left Coast Crime region.

Sign up for Gigi’s newsletter here, connect with her on Facebook, and Twitter, and check out her gargoyle photography on the Gargoyle Girl Blog.

A Day in the Life of Zoe Faust by Gigi Pandian

Accidental AlchemistI’m used to living on my own. For decades, I’ve been traveling around the U.S. and living out of my silver Airstream trailer – until this week.

I was tired of my itinerant life, so I bought this dilapidated Craftsman house in Portland, Oregon, a friendly city full of people seeking to reinvent themselves. My plan is to plant a real garden for the first time and years, become a regular at the neighborhood teashop that’s full of kindred spirits, and fix up my basement to resume the studies I abandoned ages ago. I’m hoping to put down some roots for at least a few years, until my past inevitably catches up with me.

I’m not a criminal – although I was once viewed that way. I’m an alchemist. I accidentally discovered the Elixir of Life over 300 years ago. Now aside for my naturally white hair, I don’t age the way most people do. It’s difficult – even dangerous – to explain alchemy to people, so I keep moving. Out of necessity, I’m careful not to reveal my true identity. I don’t tell people that the reason I wake up with the sun is because planetary alignments dictate it, nor do I tell them I start my day by drinking a green smoothie or an herbal tea because my vitality is tied to the energy of plants.

But it looks like I wasn’t careful enough. There was a stowaway in the moving crates I shipped to Portland from a storage facility in Paris. When I opened an oversize box containing equipment from my old alchemy laboratory, sitting among the hermetic vases and glass vessels was a three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle. He unfurled his wings and stepped out of the box.

I’ve seen a lot in my 340 years, so I didn’t run screaming from the house when a living gargoyle greeted me with a thick French accent. It’s a good thing I didn’t, because within only a few days I’ve grown quite attached to the little creature. It turns out he sought me out to help him decipher the strange alchemy book that brought him to life but now threatens his existence.

The gargoyle’s name is Dorian Robert-Houdin, and he looks remarkably like one of the gargoyles I’ve seen sitting atop Notre Dame in Paris. He’s as real as you or I, and his ego is bigger than that of any person I’ve ever known. After tasting his culinary alchemy, I don’t blame him for his ego. Using the healing herbs and vegetables I grow and preserve, the impish gargoyle gourmet can transform the simplest ingredients into the most decadent vegan feasts I’ve ever tasted.

As if my life wasn’t complicated enough, now I’ve got a secret gargoyle chef for a roommate and an ancient mystery to unravel. Unfortunately, before I could get to work decoding Dorian’s mysterious alchemy book, my new home was burglarized. Dorian’s precious book was stolen along with other items, and the man I hired to fix up the house was murdered on my porch. But my contractor’s death can’t have anything to do with me and Dorian. Right? I can’t tell the police about the urgency in recovering the missing alchemy book, so to save the life of my misfit friend, I must rely on the help of my new neighbors and delve into the alchemical past that I’ve been running from.


You can read more about Zoe and Dorian in The Accidental Alchemist, the first book in the new “Accidental Alchemist” mystery series, published by Midnight Ink.

GIVEAWAY: Leave a comment by 6 p.m. eastern on January 15 for the chance to win a copy of THE ACCIDENTAL ALCHEMIST. The giveaway is open to everyone.

About the author
Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and the forthcoming Quicksand) and the new Accidental Alchemist mysteries. Gigi’s debut mystery novel was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant, and her short fiction has been short-listed for Agatha and Macavity awards. A cancer diagnosis in her 30s taught her two important life lessons: healing foods can taste amazing, and life’s too short to waste a single moment. Gigi spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with an overgrown vegetable garden in the backyard.

Visit her at gigipandian.com and connect with her on Facebook (facebook.com/GigiPandian) and on Twitter (@GigiPandian).

Author Showcase ~ Pirate Vishnu by Gigi Pandian

PIRATE VISHNUA century-old treasure map of San Francisco’s Barbary Coast. Sacred riches from India. Two murders, one hundred years apart. And a love triangle… Historian Jaya Jones has her work cut out for her.

1906. Shortly before the Great San Francisco Earthquake, Pirate Vishnu strikes the San Francisco Bay. An ancestor of Jaya’s who came to the U.S. from India draws a treasure map…

Present Day. Over a century later, the cryptic treasure map remains undeciphered. From San Francisco to the southern tip of India, Jaya pieces together her ancestor’s secrets, maneuvers a complicated love life she didn’t count on, and puts herself in the path of a killer to restore a revered treasure.

Release: February 2014
Series: Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt #2
Publisher: Henery Press

GIVEAWAY: Comment on this post by noon EST on February 16, and you will be entered for a chance to win a copy of ARTIFACT. One winner will be chosen at random. U.S. and Canadian entries only.

Meet the author
Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. After being dragged around the world during her childhood, she tried to escape her fate when she left a PhD program for art school. But adventurous academics wouldn’t stay out of her head. Thus was born the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series.

Gigi’s debut mystery novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012″ Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine.

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Artifact by Gigi Pandian

Artifact by Gigi Pandian is the first book in the new “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” mystery series. Publisher: Gargoyle Girl Productions, August 2012

When historian Jaya Jones receives a mysterious package containing a jewel-encrusted artifact from India, sent by her ex-lover the same day he died in a supposed accident in the Highlands of Scotland, she discovers the secrets of a lost Indian treasure may be hidden in a Scottish legend from the days of the British Raj. But she’s not the only one on the trail.

From San Francisco to London to the Highlands of Scotland, Jaya must evade a shadowy stalker as she follows hints from the hastily scrawled note of her dead lover to a remote archaeological dig. Helping her decipher the cryptic clues are her magician best friend, a devastatingly handsome art historian with something to hide, and a charming archaeologist running for his life.

When Jaya receives a package from her ex-boyfriend who has suddenly died, Jaya is off and takes us on a fast-paced adventure filled with archeological intrigue and mayhem. The author did a good job in keeping me guessing throughout most of this page-turning drama. The writing was good, the dialogue entertaining and Jaya is a character that I’m interested in learning more about and I can’t wait for the next book in this enjoyable debut series.

A Day In The Life Of Jaya Jones by Gigi Pandian

When people first meet me and hear my name, Jaya Anand Jones, they often do a double-take. I was born in India, and my Indian mom named me Jaya (it means victorious) and gave me the middle name Anand (happiness). My last name comes from my American father, who met my mom while he was “finding himself” in Goa in the late 1970s.

I’m a history professor in San Francisco, which makes me Dr. Jones. Yes, I’ve heard all the jokes, especially lately. It’s because of what happened to me this summer. I wound up on a treasure hunt that took me to the Highlands of Scotland to uncover a lost Indian treasure with its secrets hidden in a Scottish legend from the days of the British Raj. My ex-boyfriend had discovered an Indian artifact that he wanted my help researching — but I received word of his “accidental” death in Scotland before I could reach him. It’s a longer story than I can tell you here, but you can read the whole adventure in Artifact.

Now I’m back home in San Francisco, and I’m late to meet my best friend Sanjay. He’s a magician. Perhaps you’ve heard of him. He goes by the stage name The Hindi Houdini. He helped me solve the mystery of the Indian artifact, so it’s the least I can do to preview his latest magic show.

I’m not usually someone who runs late, but I got caught up talking with my landlady, Nadia, who always has entertaining stories to tell about San Francisco in the 1960s or her life in Russia as a young woman. She tried to get me to tell her about the new man in my life, but it’s a bit complicated, so I’d rather not talk about it quite yet.

It’s going to make me even later meeting Sanjay, but I need to stop at my local café to grab a strong coffee and a bagel with scrambled eggs and peanut butter — yum. I went for a run in Golden Gate Park earlier, and now I’m starving. It shouldn’t take too long, unless I happen to run into the neighborhood poet who has been trying to convince me to play my tabla drums as an accompaniment his poetry readings.

I’m still on summer break from teaching classes at my university, but if you know any academics, you know I’m supposed to be using that time to do my own research and writing, not gallivanting across the British Isles in search of an apocryphal treasure on the heels of a killer. I’m about to start my second year teaching history, and if I want to get tenure I need to step up my publishing in academic journals. I love history, especially my specialty of the British East India Company, but lately I can’t seem to find time to focus on my research. Speaking of time, I better get going so I can make it to Sanjay’s magic show!


You can read more about Jaya in Artifact, the first book in the new “Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt” mystery series.

When historian Jaya Jones receives a mysterious package containing a jewel-encrusted artifact from India, sent by her ex-lover the same day he died in a supposed accident in the Highlands of Scotland, she discovers the secrets of a lost Indian treasure may be hidden in a Scottish legend from the days of the British Raj. But she’s not the only one on the trail….

** Thanks to the Gigi, I have one (1) copy of ARTIFACT to give away. Contest open to residents of the US only. Contest ends August 31. Leave a valid-email address with your comment. Book will be shipped directly from the author. **

Meet the Author
Gigi Pandian grew up being dragged around the world by her anthropologist parents. She tried to escape her fate when she left a PhD program for art school, but adventurous academic characters wouldn’t stay out of her head. Thus was born the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. Her debut mystery, Artifact, was awarded the Malice Domestic Grant. Gigi is a graphic designer in the San Francisco Bay Area. To sign up for Gigi’s newsletter or connect with her on Facebook or Twitter, visit http://gigipandian.com.

Books are available at retail and online booksellers.