The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian
A modern tale of ancient intrigue from a USA Today bestselling author
When Zoe Faust–herbalist, alchemist, and recent transplant to Portland, Oregon–begins unpacking her bags, she can’t help but notice she’s picked up a stow away: a living, breathing, three-and-half-foot gargoyle. Dorian Robert-Houdin is no simple automaton, nor is he a homunculus; in fact, he needs Zoe’s help to decipher a centuries-old text that explains exactly what he is. Zoe, who’s trying to put her alchemical life behind her, isn’t so sure she can help. But after a murder victim is discovered on her front porch, Zoe realized she’s tangled up in ancient intrigue that can’t be ignored.
“The Accidental Alchemist is a recipe for a great read. Gigi Pandian’s pen never disappoints.”–JULIET BLACKWELL, NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING AUTHOR OF THE WITCHCRAFT MYSTERY SERIES
“A magical, whimsical cozy that will delight readers who enjoy Juliet Blackwell and Heather Weber mysteries!” –AVERY AAMES, AKA DARYL WOOD GERBER, AUTHOR OF THE CHEESE SHOP MYSTERIES
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
First of all, is this not an awesome cover? Immediately drew me to the book.
As far as the actual book went, I had mixed emotions. There were some great ideas in this story and some of them were expressed wonderfully, and some…well, not so much. I loved the gargoyle and the main character had her moments where she was highly likable and interesting.
The mystery angle of the book–for me at least–fell flat. The story was interesting as was the concept for murder, but the author spent a lot of time on minor characters and insignificant happenings, thereby killing the excitement of solving the crimes. Honestly, by about half way I was wondering if she was ever going to get to the actual point.
I will say, that the writing is good for the most part and that she has quite the imagination. I liked the way she included small details that became important later and kept the curiosity of the reader piqued with ever more possibilities that things would not go as one expected, I just wish we could have gotten there a bit sooner. I really don’t feel the need to know every time a character eats something.
There are some great recipes in the back of the book and an interesting bio of the author. The end of the story wasn’t terribly surprising, but put a smile on my face.
If you are looking for a nice fantasy/reality cross and have the patience for a book that does have some slow spots, this is a good one. I’m curious to see what else this author does.
This review is based on a complimentary copy from the publisher and provided through Netgalley. All opinions are my own.