Monday, January 16, 2017

Virtual Tour & #Giveaway for The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

Welcome to my stop on the Virtual Tour, presented by France Book Tours, for The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian.  Please leave a comment or question for Gigi to let her know you stopped by.  You may enter her tour wide giveaway by filling out the giveaway form below.  You may follow all of the stops on the tour by clicking on the banner above.  The more stops you visit the better your odds of winning. Good luck! 

The Elusive Elixir
By Gigi Pandian
An Accidental Alchemist, Book 3

Publisher:  Midnight Ink
Release Date: January 8, 2017
Genre: Paranormal Mystery
Length: 336 Pages
ISBN: 978-0738742366 Pages

Buy Links:  Midnight Ink | Amazon | B&N | Kobo | IndieBound

About 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.

Excerpt from The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

I slid Not Untrue Alchemy from the bag. The book fell open to the page it always fell open to. These were the words that had once accidentally brought Dorian to life, when Jean Eugène Robert-Houdin had read the words as a dramatic addition to his stage show.

I began to read the mysterious words aloud.

Here in Paris, I felt the power of the words so deeply that I was caught off guard. My body began to sway as strongly as when I’d been on a fishing boat during an unexpected typhoon. I braced myself against the wall with my free hand and looked at the gargoyle, hoping he wouldn’t begin to shake as much as I was. Then he’d be sure to fall and shatter.

The gargoyle didn’t move.

I sat down on a nearby chair and cradled the confounding book on my lap. Reading from an alchemy book alone shouldn’t direct so much power toward myself. And certainly not this quickly. Alchemy involves practicing in solitude in one’s own alchemy lab, going through the processes of calcination, dissolution, separation, fermentation, distillation, and coagulation.

But this book was backward alchemy, where shortcuts abound and one element is sacrificed for another. Alchemy can seem like magic, because we can’t see the mechanism of the transfer of energy under a microscope. But it’s not any different than theoretical physics. You don’t have to see science to believe in it. Alchemists were early chemists, but because of “puffers”—the fools who only saw alchemy as a way to make money and sought favor with kings by transmuting lead into gold for political gains—alchemy was squashed, twisted, and discredited. Across time, whenever true alchemists have tried to come out from the shadows, it has ended badly.

Still feeling like I was seasick, I focused my breathing. Think, Zoe. I read the incantation again. The gargoyle again failed to come to life.

There was one more thing I wanted to try. I had a packet of tea with me, leftovers of the Tea of Ashes I’d made for Dorian before coming to Paris to stave off his backward transformation into stone. I’d saved the remnants of the ash-like substance that I’d created from the living plants in my garden.

The gargoyle’s mouth was frozen half open, revealing a dark gray tongue and sharp teeth. I rubbed the ashes onto his stone tongue. The gray powder coated the rough surface, disappearing into the stone pores.

I stepped back. Nothing.

The sound of a buzzing bee interrupted the silence. One of the bees inside the book’s wrapping was frantically trying to escape. I shut the book and pushed it back inside. Let the bees have it. It wasn’t doing me any good.

The buzzing subsided, but the room wasn’t silent. There was now another sound.


My eyes flew to the gargoyle’s dark face. His gray eyes began to water.

“Peux-tu m’entendre?” I asked. Can you hear me?

The gargoyle wasn’t able to move his stone body, but his eyes were alive. I felt a jolt of pity as his sad eyes locked onto mine. Gray stone lips twitched. I wished I’d been wrong. I wished what the scholars believed was the truth, that this was simply a gargoyle carved by a stone carver with an offbeat sense of humor.

Not this—a living soul trapped in stone.

I also wished I’d been wrong about Dorian’s book. It had led me to the recipe for the Tea of Ashes and to Notre Dame, but it appeared to have served its purpose. It wasn’t a miracle that could save the gargoyles from reverting to stone.

“Aidez moi,” the gargoyle croaked in a deep gravelly voice. “HelpHelp me.”

The last words were barely audible. The wheezing stopped. His lips froze, but for a moment longer his liquid gray eyes bore into mine. He blinked once more, then went still. 

USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian spent her childhood being dragged around the world by her cultural anthropologist parents, and now lives outside San Francisco with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the garden.

Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and Locked-Room Mystery short stories.  Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards.

Visit herwebsite. Follow her on Facebook and Twitter.  Subscribe to her newsletter.

Visit her Gargoyle photography blog:

An old mystery, vegan recipes and a reluctant alchemist forced to face her past, take center stage in The Elusive Elixir, the third installment in Gigi Pandian’s Accidental Alchemist Mystery series.  A fan of the previous two books in the series, The Accidental Alchemist and The Accidental Magician, I couldn’t wait to dive into this installment to see what would happen next.  If you’re a fan of mysteries, French cooking, magic and science, this is a series you’re going to want to check out, just make sure you start with the first book in the series.    

Ms. Pandian takes us on an interesting journey in this instalment as the story begins; while Zoe discovered a “cure” for Dorian in the previous installment, it was only temporary and he continues turning into stone.  Determined to find a permanent cure for her friend, Zoe heads to Paris, their previous home, hoping she will be able to decode more of the mysterious “backward alchemy” book now in her possession.  She just never counted on being accused of an unsolved 70 year old murder or on discovering another living gargoyle.       

I really like how Ms. Pandian incorporates more of Zoe and Dorian’s past in this installment as she continues to develop both of them, and their new lives, in Portland.  While Zoe spends some time in Paris, and we get a glimpse of her life in Paris during WW2, she quickly heads back to Portland and brings the unsolved murder mystery with her.  As she works to solve both problems, with Dorian’s help, we get to watch them interact with the new people in their lives; Brixton, Max and Ivan, well developed secondary characters who each contribute something important to the developing story. 

As usual I really enjoyed reading about Dorian’s kitchen exploits and his vegan gastronomical creations, Zoe’s healthy elixirs and the slowly growing romance between Zoe and Max.  I also enjoyed Brixton’s contribution to this story and how it connected to Zoe’s search for Dorian’s cure.  Ms. Pandian also does a good job with the mystery part of the story, and with how it connects to Zoe’s past. There are plenty of twists and turns which keep the reader guessing.

Will Zoe be able to solve two murder mysteries and discover a permanent cure for Dorian’s problem?  Will the cure require a sacrifice she and Dorian will not be willing to make? And will she be able to keep Ivan and Max from discovering all of her secrets? You’ll have to read The Elusive Elixir to find out.  I really enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next installment in this series. 

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Maria for your wonderful review. So glad you enjoy this series. Have you tried Gigi's other series? very good as well.