Thursday, May 25, 2017

The Accidental Alchemist (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery #1), by Gigi Pandian (author), Julia Motyka (narrator)

Audible Audio, January 2015

When Zoe Faust arrives in Portland, Oregon, and finds what she thinks can be her new home for a while, she's been traveling for a long time.

A very long time..

Zoe was born in Salem, Massachusetts in the 1670s, and her name wasn't Zoe Faust at the time. She was a young herbalist, and so all too vulnerable at the time of the Salem witch trials. She sailed to England, and wound up in France, training as an alchemist. When the plague moved through the village where she lived, she tried to save her loved ones--and accidentally created an elixer of life that did not save others, but did exempt her from aging. She's been traveling since then to avoid suspicion, and starts rethinking her decision to settle in Portland when she finds a dead body on the porch of her new home, both poisoned and stabbed.

She's also found a stowaway in her luggage: a three-foot-tall, living gargoyle who says his name is Dorian Robert-Houdin.

Dorian has a problem, and wants her help. He's turning back into solid stone, and thinks she can help decipher the strangem, old alchemy book his creator used to bring him to life.

A neighborhood teenage boy breaks into this "haunted house" and discovers Dorian. A very handsome police detective named Max Lieu also lives in the neighborhood. There's a local tea shop Zoe has already found and grown to love.

Then her house is broken into again, and Dorian's book is stolen. The owner of the local tea shop is also poisoned. She can't hire anyone to do essential repairs to the house, because everyone "knows" it's haunted. Oh, and the police think she's a suspect in the murder of the guy she found on her porch.

Was settling in Portland really a good idea?

There's a collection of interesting and likable characters here, along with a tangle of mysteries that Zoe has to solve if she is going to save Dorian or ever be able to live in peace in what she hopes is her new home for at least the next few years.

I've never heard of Pandian, but this book really grabbed me. I'll be looking for more.

Recommended.

I bought this audiobook.