I’ve been on a mystery-reading kick, so I’ll continue my fall reviews with the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries by Gigi Pandian.
Jaya Jones is a petite, half-Indian history professor in San Francisco who plays tabla drums twice a week at a tandoori restaurant with her best friend, Sanjay, a magician who calls himself the Hindi Houdini. With characters like that, I was sucked in from the beginning. Jaya rushes through life in stiletto heels or platform soles (what can’t people understand about being short) and can take care of herself, thanks to her dad’s insistence on taking her to martial arts classes.
Those skills come in handy when she receives an antique ruby bracelet and a cryptic note from a former lover whose death was recently reported. She takes the bracelet to Lane Peters, a graduate assistant with expertise in Indian jewelry. Soon she and Lane are off to an archaeological dig in Scotland to figure out where the artifact came from and who killed her former lover. But nothing is quite what it seems…
A fun read with colorful and interesting characters.
Pirate Vishnu (A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Book 2)
by Gigi Pandian
Henery Press, 2014
Back in San Francisco, Jaya is focused on her career and done with treasure hunting, or so she thinks until a man named Stephen Healy comes to her with a treasure map of the Bay Area supposedly drawn by her great uncle Anand Paravar. The next day, Stephen Healy is murdered, and Jaya is drawn into the mystery. Her sort of boyfriend Lane tries to talk her out of it, but Uncle Anand was a hero in her family who died heroically during the 1906 earthquake, and she owes it to his memory. But again, nothing is what it seems.
The chapters alternate between Jaya’s hunt in the 21st century and Anand’s story, back in the early 1900s, so the readers know some things Jaya doesn’t. I enjoyed the book, though the resolution was a bit of a let down. Still, another fun read from Gigi Pandian.