The Masquerading Magician

The Masquerading Magician

by Gigi Pandian


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The Masquerading Magician by Gigi Pandian

Deciphering an ancient alchemy book is more difficult than Zoe Faust bargained for. She’d much rather be gardening and exploring her new hometown of Portland, Oregon—but time is running out for living gargoyle Dorian Robert-Houdin. If Zoe isn’t able to unlock an unusual alchemy book’s secrets soon, the French gargoyle will remain awake but trapped in stone forever.

When Zoe gives herself a rare night out to attend a classic magic show, she realizes the stage magicians are much more than they seem. A murder at the theater leads back to a string of unsolved robberies and murders in Portland’s past, and a mystery far more personal than Zoe and Dorian ever imagined.


"People who enjoy character driven stories with mystery, magic, supernatural creatures, and historical intrigue will greatly enjoy this inventive, well-written tale."—Portland Book Review

"A fine, whimsical, paranormal book . . . this plot certainly holds your attention."—Suspense Magazine

"[The Masquerading Magician] is enjoyable and holds together quite nicely."—Reviewing the Evidence

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780738742359
Publisher: Llewellyn Worldwide, LTD.
Publication date: 01/08/2016
Series: Accidental Alchemist Mystery Series , #2
Pages: 336
Sales rank: 506,968
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(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 Masquerading Magician 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
MsArdychan More than 1 year ago
A Delicious Mystery Series! Let me begin by saying that I read this series out of order. I started by reading the third book because I requested it from NetGalley. Gargoyles, Portland, and a mystery? How could I resist. It was so well written, that I didn't really notice that it was book three until after I finished it and looked it up on GoodReads. So I went back to the beginning and read all of these very satisfying books. The Masquerading Magician is the second book in the series, and it was a fun addition to this saga. What I Liked: Learning More about "The Book": Much of the story is sparked by a book that supposedly brings the gargoyle, Dorian, to life. It is a backwards alchemy book that has caused trouble to whomever has possession of it. I enjoyed how the author goes back in time to reveal other instances where people tried to use the book, and suffered intense disappointment because it was not the shortcut to immortality that they thought it was. The philosophy of this series: This book series is all about transformations. How does one become immortal? They find what their passion is and immerse themselves in it. I love that the main character, Zoe Faust, is terrible at turning lead into gold (the traditional goal of alchemy). Her actual passion is to use her knowledge of herbs to heal others. Zoe is also a vegan and I really enjoyed how she promotes this healthy way of eating without getting preachy about it. She doesn't go on and on about how unhealthy (or unethical) animal products can be. She simply describes how delicious the foods are that Dorian (the gargoyle chef) prepares. I am not a vegan, by the way. But these descriptions (and the accompanying recipes) are making me want to try vegan eating. Note: I tried the Vegan Mac-N-Cheese and it was easy to make and thoroughly satisfying. The cashew really did taste like cheese! Friendships: I loved how close Zoe and Dorian are becoming as the series progresses. You can see how lonely Zoe has been in the past, a byproduct of needing to keep her immortality a secret. Becoming friends with Dorian helps Zoe to see that friendships are an important part of living. What I was mixed about: The mystery: I am still learning to appreciate this genre. As such, I sometimes have a difficult time with some of the conventions of this kind of book. I wish that the central mystery was more about the finding a cure for Dorian, and less about incidental crimes. It seems silly that Dorian would put himself in danger time and time again. I would have thought that Dorian, having been alive for over 100 years, would have more common sense. But I did like that he was part of the action. It would have been a shame if the character was stuck in the kitchen during the entire story. Overall, I am enjoying this series, and the recipes! I got these books from the library, but after reading the three books, I now want to own them for myself.
AnnieMarch26 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed how this story delved deeper into the history of Dorian's unusual alchemy book and its secrets. The reunion Zoe had with someone from her past was nicely done and I hope that there are more of these reunions in the next book. I am looking forward to the third book in the series and am hoping that Dorian can be saved without the cost being too high for Zoe.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lite and fluffy like a souffle!
dibbylodd More than 1 year ago
I really enjoy this series. The idea of a vegan alchemist with a living gargoyle chef is just too marvelous. The basic story continues here with the added challenge that the gargoyle is slowly (or not so slowly) turning back to stone. The race is on to figure out how to save him. But each time she uses the reverse alchemy book to buy him time, she pays a major physical price. It's captivating. And the food references are enough to get you to try some vegan dishes. The macaroni is delicious!
lauralovesreviewingLT More than 1 year ago
I had a fun read with the first book in this series so I was really looking forward to this next book. Zoe is still trying to save Dorian, her suave, gourmet cooking gargoyle friend. He’s slowly turning to stone and will be trapped in his frozen body, eternally awake and unable to move. Her house is still a wreck. The hole in the roof still waiting for repair. But Zoe is using all of her time and strength trying to decode the alchemist book in order to help Dorian. Taking a time out for herself, Zoe goes to a magic show, which stirs memories from her past. Brixton, a teenage boy and the only one besides Zoe that knows about Dorian, discovers some disturbing facts about one of the performers, which draws all of them into a murder that takes them down a dangerous path. I enjoyed this one even more than the first book. Partly because I already knew the characters and knew I was going to get answers to some of my questions. There’s magic, murder, flashes to a mysterious past, strong characters, humor, and suspense. Enough going on to keep me flipping from page to page, waiting for the next big surprise and those answers I wanted. I really like Zoe. She’s got a lot to handle and as much as she wants to settle into her new home, she pushes herself past exhaustion to help Dorian. Dorian is as debonair and witty as usual. And his concern for Zoe is touching. If we could all have such a friendship, how fortunate we would be. I hope you give this series a try. And, while you can read this book without having read the first, I recommend you start at the beginning. You’ll have a lot of fun and get to meet the characters and watch them grow.
CozyUpWithKathy More than 1 year ago
very unique and always fascinating The Masquerading Magician by Gigi Pandian The Second Accidental Alchemist Mystery Zoe Faust is back and, as the book opens, is on a date with Max; attending a classic magic show in a style reminiscent of the Victorian era. Zoe gets a bit of a shock. Not only can she compare this night's performance to an actual one performed 150 years ago, since she was alive and well and living in Paris at that time, she spots Dorian on the catwalk-easily seen by anyone should more than a glance be cast in his direction. A problem, not only of a being in an unauthorized location above a stage, but more so because Dorian is a living gargoyle who is having mobility issues. As Zoe struggles to help Dorian using a tricky type of alchemy, the possibility arises that one of the magicians may be another alchemist. Can she save Dorian without her health taking a dramatic toll? Can she come to understand Dorian's special book. And what's with that honey smell coming from a book, instead of Dorian's delightful treats? The Masquerading Magician delves into the concept of friendship. How far would you go to help a friend? How much of yourself do you reveal? Can friendship stand the test of time? With or without secrets? One of the things I like best about reading a book by Gigi Pandian is how much I learn. Pandian's books are filled with historical details, usually very unique and always fascinating. While she, like most authors, takes some liberties (this is a work of fiction, after all) she always sets the facts straight in her notes at the end. But for those readers who aren't captivated by the minutia of history, never fear-the past is mingled effortlessly with the present so we learn without feeling as if we're being taught. Historical details enhance, yet never overwhelm the story. The Masquerading Magician is a complex mystery with lots of twists and turns. The ongoing issues with Dorian's fate, Max's beliefs, and the concept of backward alchemy make a multilayered story that grips you and makes you think. Yet it is also fun and charming. There exists, after all, a gargoyle chef who makes delicious vegan treats! The Masquerading Magician is a captivating addition to one of the most unique mystery series out there. FTC Disclosure – The publisher sent me a digital ARC provided through NetGalley, in the hopes I would review it.
JennMcLean More than 1 year ago
"The Masquerading Magician" by Gigi Pandian is the second book I've read in this series. I loved the first mystery (The Accidental Alchemist) so I'm thrilled to be reviewing the second installment that will be published January 8, 2016. Once again, Gigi Pandian has hit it out of the park. I just loved this continuation of the story started in "The Accidental Alchemist". If you can suspend your disbelief I can guarantee you'll love reading this cozy mystery. Zoe Faust is an alchemist. She works most successfully with plants to make healing teas, tinctures and salves, she has a real talent for making things grow and bringing out the healing properties of plants. In the first book we learn that after many, many years of traveling the world, Zoe wants to put down some roots in Portland, Oregon so she buys an old house. Her life is made much more complicated when a living gargoyle named Dorian is found hiding in the crates she's had shipped from Paris. In "The Masquerading Magician", Zoe is trying to decipher an ancient alchemy text so she can hopefully cure Dorian from turning back into stone and trapping him forever. When Zoe takes a rare night off she attends an old fashioned magic show, the magicians remind her of people she knew in the past and she suspects there may be another alchemist in her midst. When a murder happens at the same theatre the next day, Zoe decides to find out if there may be a mystery afoot. She's hoping to find another alchemist to help her decipher the complicate and dangerous alchemy book. The temporary cures she's making for Dorian are sapping her life force from her, making her sicker every time she performs the backward alchemy to make the curative tea. If Zoe can't get help she may be unable to continue and Dorian will die. What can I say, I just LOVED this book. It is a solid five out of five. It is so fun when you find an unbelievable book that you just want to believe in. I find it so enjoyable to wish there could be a Dorian the Gargoyle out there somewhere. I also really liked the background food theme. The character of Zoe, because of her alchemist background, finds plants to be the most healing of foods. She is therefore a Vegan and I was intrigued learning about the delicious sounding recipes that are being created in her kitchen. Although food is a small part of this book, I found it's inclusion made for even more interesting background for the character. Gigi Pandian has started a very successful series with Zoe and Dorian and there is definitely room for several more books about the pair. As the reader, I was interested in the magical qualities of Alchemy and found myself wishing that it were somehow true. If you're a dreamer like I am then you'll love this series. It will make you wish for magical truths and unique creatures. Who wouldn't love a little more mystery and uniqueness in our lives, isn't that why we read books?