The Elusive Elixir

The Elusive Elixir

by Gigi Pandian


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The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian

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 normal life.


"Pandian's imaginative third Accidental Alchemist mystery . . . will please those who like their cozies filled with magic."—Publishers Weekly

"The unbelievable premise is no problem given the inventive powers of Pandian."—Kirkus Reviews

"Pandian writes fun, light-hearted mysteries and is an expert at developing sympathetic characters, both major and minor."—Bustle

"A quirky, incredible series . . . The characters are immensely unique and the writing is A+, so you won't want to miss a word."—Suspense Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738742366
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 01/08/2017
Series: Accidental Alchemist Mystery Series , #3
Pages: 312
Sales rank: 469,029
Product dimensions: 5.20(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, 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.

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The Elusive Elixir 4.2 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Third in the series was adventurous with lots of new characters. Flow bogged a little down with all the side stories. Inventive, if abrupt ending. Paris, Norte Dame part of story was creative. I have enjoyed all three stories and the author’s imaginative blend of a quirky story surrounded by quirky characters. Enjoyed the leads very much. Vegan recipes at end are a bonus. Keep on keepin’ on. Have enjoyed both audio and text formats.
stickerooniDM More than 1 year ago
Ah...finally. The story develops, is focused and we get the read that we've been looking for through three volumes. Zoe Faust is a 300 year old alchemist. Her specialty is creating potions of healing, But all her knowledge and years of experience aren't helping her heal her good friend Dorian. Dorian is a living gargoyle, but he is slowly converting back to stone and Zoe is his only hope or he'll be alive but trapped in his stone form forever. Zoe's been on the hunt for a cure for some time now, but she's gotten a few leads and she believes the secret may lie in some ancient alchemical volumes - the sort you can only find in old book stores, not digitized online. Zoe makes a trip to Paris to seek out a particular book from a secret society of 'backward alchemists' but while there she is approached by a very old woman who thinks she recognizes Zoe. Though Zoe claims she often gets comments for her likeness of her grandmother, the woman isn't convinced and attempts to get Zoe to admit that she's found the secret of longevity. The woman frightens Zoe, and she's always feared that someone would recognize her. The woman threatens to sic her gendarme relative on her because there is no statute of limitations on murder and the woman is convinced that Zoe, some 60-odd years ago, once killed her assistant by burning her shop down. The encounter rattles Zoe, but she continues her quest to save Dorian. This book answers a lot of the unanswered questions from the previous books but I'm not sure that you need to know those questions before reading this volume. While it might be nice to know a little more of the history of the characters, the story really doesn't develop until this third volume. But just as Zoe gets closer to finding the answer to helping Dorian, members of the backward alchemist coterie are closing in on Zoe, hoping to take the secret for themselves. Meanwhile Dorian is making the most of what time he has left and is whipping up some fabulous foods. Dorian is a superb chef, learning from a master chef who had gone blind, thus his not knowing that Dorian was made of stone. This is a very clever mystery series, and Pandian is a talented author, but somehow this particular series hasn't quite lived up to my hopes. This third volume finally falls just where I'd hoped all the books would take me. If you haven't read the others in the series, consider reading just this volume. If you have read the others, then you'll want to top them off with this volume. Looking for a good book? The Elusive Elixir is the third volume in Gigi Pandian's Accidental Alchemist Mystery series and manages to provide a strong story and a resolution to a three-book mystery. I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
Pandian has done it again! I was really worried about the fate of the gargoyle. The story is wonderfully complex and travels to Paris and back. Delicious vegan snacks and meals are a bonus.
KrisAnderson_TAR More than 1 year ago
The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian is the third book in The Accidental Alchemist Mystery series. Zoe Faust is in Paris hoping to find answers to help her gargoyle friend, Dorian Robert-Houdin. Dorian was changed from a stone gargoyle at Notre Dame Cathedral’s Gallery of Gargoyle’s into a live gargoyle. But over the last few months he has slowly turning back into stone. Dorian will be alive but trapped in his stone exterior. Zoe wants to save him and has come to Paris for answers. Another gargoyle was recently spotted alive in Prague and it was turned over to the Paris University (Zoe has not been able to get access). Before Zoe can get some answers, Blanche Leblanc approaches her. Blanche claims to have known Zoe in 1942. The woman then has her nephew, a police officer, talk with Zoe regarding the fire of Elixir (the herbalist shop Zoe owned in Paris) and the death of Jasper Dubois. Zoe cannot risk her secrets coming to light and flees Paris. Back in Portland, Ivan Danko, Zoe’s neighbor and friend, is busy trying to discover the Elixir of Life (he does not wish to die). Zoe soon realizes that someone has followed Zoe back to Portland. They want Dorian’s book Non Degenera Alchemia, which talks about backward alchemy. Life has taken a very dangerous turn for Zoe. Will she be able to rescue Dorian and keep the book safe? The Elusive Elixir is well-written, easy to read, and fascinating. There are a lot of details and it can be hard to keep them all straight. I have not read the previous books in this series, but it did not hinder my enjoyment of The Elusive Elixir (the author provides the necessary background information on Zoe and Dorian). I give The Elusive Elixir 4.25 out of 5 stars (I really liked it). I did find some information to be repeated several times (that Max Liu is Zoe’s “sort of” boyfriend, the basics about backward alchemy, and information about Zoe’s past). Zoe Faust is a great main character. She is intelligent, strong, and resourceful. I appreciated Dorian. He is humorous and entertaining (and an excellent chef). I found the mystery fascinating, but I did figure it out (it is wonderfully complex). I am looking forward to reading the other novels in The Accidental Alchemist series.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
a tautly written mystery that combines the vagaries of truth with sacrifice THE ELUSIVE ELIXIR by Gigi Pandian The Third Accidental Alchemist Mystery Shocking truths from the past are revealed as Zoe travels to France to hunt for a cure for Dorian who continues to turn into stone. As Zoe copes with these revelations upon her return to Portland, even more secrets are revealed and the dangers of not untrue alchemy prove deadly. Will Zoe be able to save Dorian without sacrificing herself, or anyone else? Will Max be able to accept all that Zoe is? In this third book in the Accidental Alchemist Mystery series Zoe is faced with multiple trials. In trying to find the key to save Dorian, while keeping her identity as an alchemist quiet, she is confronted with information that challenges what she believed and believes to be true. Ultimately, this novel is about sacrifice. What are you willing to do to save someone else, or yourself? THE ELUSIVE ELIXIR is a tautly written mystery that combines the vagaries of truth with sacrifice. Gigi Pandian has the ability to transport you into her world with visceral details. I believed I was actually climbing the steps of Notre Dame, watching the bees swarm with the scent of honey and cloves in the air, and feeling the desperation of her characters. Yet everything is not all dark and dire, there is humor here as well, especially as we get to know Leopold. This third book in the series held me captivated and left me satisfied with an intriguing whiff of things to come. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
AnnieMarch26 More than 1 year ago
After I finished reading The Elusive Elixir I felt mixed emotions. I was heartbroken for Zoe, elated for Dorian and anxious about were the next book in the series would lead. It also left me thinking of a Chinese proverb that I heard as a child, “You give a poor man a fish and you feed him for a day. You teach him to fish and you give him an occupation that will feed him for a lifetime.” I was on pins and needles as I read the story because Zoe's past and present collided in a very unexpected way. She was lied to and betrayed by people from both her past and present. What I loved most about this story is that Zoe's and Dorian's unusual friendship taught them both valuable lessons. Dorian's acceptance of his fate and his refusal to give in to evil to save himself, and Zoe's willingness to make the ultimate sacrifice to save her friend was beautifully written. I am looking forward to the audio-book being released on audible. I received a free, advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for my unbiased review.