Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Virtual Book Tour & Giveaway for The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian

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Welcome to the final stop on the Virtual Book Tour, presented by Great Escapes Virtual Book Tours, for The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian.  Please leave a comment or question for Gigi to let her know you stopped by.  You can enter her tour wide giveaway, for a “Accidental Alchemist” coffee mug, by filling out the Rafflecopter form below.  You can check out the previous tour by clicking on the tour banner above.

The Accidental Alchemist
By Gigi Pandian
An Accidental Alchemist Mystery, Book 1

Publisher:  Midnight Ink
Release Date: January 1, 2015
Genre:  Paranormal Mystery
Length:  362 Pages
ISBN:  978-0738741840

About the book:

From USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian comes a modern tale of ancient intrigue.

Unpacking her belongings in her new hometown of Portland, Oregon, herbalist and reformed alchemist Zoe Faust can’t help but notice she’s picked up a stowaway. Dorian Robert-Houdin is a living, breathing three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle—not to mention a master of French cuisine—and he needs Zoe’s expertise to decipher a centuries-old text. Zoe, who’s trying to put her old life behind her, isn’t so sure she wants to reopen her alchemical past… until the dead man on her porch leaves her no choice.

Includes recipes!

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About This Author
Gigi Pandian lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with an overgrown organic vegetable garden in her backyard. 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. Therefore she writes the Accidental Alchemist mystery series while drinking delectable green smoothies and eating decadent home-cooked meals. Gigi was awarded the Malice Domestic Grant for her debut mystery novel. She does not apologize for loving kale. Find her online at www.gigipandian.com.

Author Links:
Website:          http://gigipandian.com/
Twitter:           https://twitter.com/GigiPandian
Facebook:        https://www.facebook.com/GigiPandian
Pinterest:         http://www.pinterest.com/GigiPandian/
Blog:               http://gigipandian.blogspot.com/

A cross between a cozy and paranormal mystery, The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian is a fun light read filled with interesting and colorful characters, good dialogue and a touch of magic.  Bridging science and magic, Ms. Pandian uses “Alchemy”, the medieval forerunner of chemistry, to bridge the past and the present, science and magic, and the study of human nature.  While there were times I thought the pace was a little slow, I’m happy to say I really enjoyed reading this book and look forward to seeing where Ms. Pandian goes with this series.

Over 300 years old, though she doesn’t look a day over 28, Zoe Faust is an “accidental” alchemist.  Born during the Salem witch trials, with a “magical” affinity for plants, Zoe escaped to Europe and trained with a master alchemist. Feeling guilty due to outliving the people she loved, and travelling Europe and the US to hide her long life, Zoe settles in Portland determined to build a new life.  She wasn’t counting on an uninvited house guest with an unusual problem or on someone killing the contractor she’s hired to fix her house.  Forced to re-examine her past, and re-open her alchemy laboratory, Zoe finds herself in a race against time to solve a magical mystery.

Ms. Pandian does a good job developing the two main characters of this story; I easily connected with Zoe, a woman who has never made peace with who and what she is.  Running away from her past, Zoe hasn’t allowed herself to have a present or contemplate a future until she decides to take a chance on setting up a home in Portland.  I also connected with “Dorian”, the 3 ½ foot living gargoyle, who is Zoe’s unexpected house guest.  French by birth, and creation, Dorian has an unusual problem and specifically sought Zoe out, stuffed himself in her “luggage” and followed her to her new home.  Either cursed, or blessed, depending on how you look at it, with long lives, their magical existence has burdened them with secrets and a lonely life. 

The secondary characters are also well developed and I especially enjoyed getting to know Brixton, a local teen who becomes attached to both Zoe and Dorian, his friends Veronica and Ethan, and detective Max Liu, who harbors secrets of his own.  While there is a romance that begins to develop between Max and Zoe in this book, it’s very low key and fraught with some interesting problems.  The mystery portion of the book, who killed Zoe’s contractor on her porch and why, was secondary in nature and took several interesting twists and turns, especially since Zoe, Dorian and Brixton employed investigative methods Dorian read about in detective novels.

Will Zoe and Max learn to trust each other in order to solve the murder mystery and save their friends? Will Zoe be able to solve Dorian’s “magical” problem before it’s too late? You’ll have to read The Accidental Alchemist to find out, I enjoyed it and look forward to reading the next book in this series.  I also wish I could have a “Dorian” of my own.

My Rating:  4.5 out of 5 Crowns


  1. What a great sounding book! I'm anxious to read it.


  2. What a fascinating novel and a wonderful feature. Thanks for this great giveaway. The author is a brave, talented and very special woman. Best wishes for much happiness, great health and a wonderful 2015. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. Sounds very interesting. Looking forward to reading.

  4. What a unique-sounding book! I do love mysteries. I'm intrigued by this one (especially by the promise of recipes.) Thanks for visiting.

  5. This honestly sounds so good! On the TBR shelf it goes!

  6. I enjoyed your other series and I am looking forword to reading this new one.

  7. a definite must-add book to my Wish List!!!

  8. Sounds like a great read!!
    Thanks for the chance to win!