The Accidental Alchemist by Gigi Pandian is a light hearted mystery novel for all ages. Infused with alchemy and fantasy, it moves quickly and is intriguing in its characterization.
“..The gray creature looked similar to the famous “thinker” gargoyle, with short horns and folded wings. The main difference was that this gargoyle held an old, leather-bound book in his arms. That was odd. I would have expected any added detail to be made of stone, not this real book with leather binding. I couldn’t place the type of stone used to carve the gargoyle. Granite? Sandstone? Or perhaps softer soapstone? It wasn’t like any stone I’d seen. I leaned in for a closer look. There was something…
The gargoyle blinked…”
Zoe Faust has recently decided to settle down in Portland, Oregon. A transplant from Paris, France, she has decided to stop traveling and put down some roots. Only Zoe isn’t quite what she appears. She is not a twenty to thirty year old young woman. Zoe was born during the Salem witch trials. And she is not an internet entrepreneur, she is actually an alchemist who specializes in herbs. When Zoe finally begins to unpack she finds a statue that does not belong to her. A gargoyle that comes to life and if brings with it a long lost book of Alchemy. It placed itself in a moving crate in hopes of following Zoe, for it has a secret. The gargoyle is dying and needs Zoe to find the right text in the ancient book of Alchemy to save it. Only before they can begin, Zoe finds a dead body in front of her new home and someone has ransacked and robbed her, taking the ancient book as one of the stolen items. Can Zoe find the thief and murderer, solve the crime, find the book and save the life of the gargoyle before it turns to stone permanently?
In the Accidental Alchemist, Gigi Pandian has created one of the most fun and entertaining characters I have read in quite some time and no it isn’t Zoe Faust, the main lead. It is Dorian Robert-Houdin. The three foot tall, stone gargoyle who is aristocratic, horribly French and a classical chef to boot. Dorian steals the page each time he appears, while Zoe goes about somewhat lost and melancholy. Dorian, for a stone statue, is full of personality and life.
A fun and entertaining read.