I love books that take me on an adventure to worlds I haven’t experienced. Gigi Pandian in “Artifact”, her first book in the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series takes us on just such a journey. We travel from San Francisco to London to the Scottish Highlands and along the way we learn about the history of India and the legendary fairies of Scottish lore.

 As the story opens, Jaya receives in the mail from Scotland a jewel encrusted artifact from an ex-boyfriend. When her ex-boyfriend is later reported dead, Jaya decides to investigate. Jaya has just completed her first year as a history professor in Berkley. She travels to Scotland to the dig her ex-boyfriend was working on when he sent her the artifact.

This is Gigi Pandian first full length novel and her writing is so realistic because she has experienced some of the types of adventures of her protagonist, Jaya Jones. Her parents both cultural anthropologists, one from the southern tip of India, and the other the other from Albuquerque, New Mexico. Pictures on her website show her as a child climbing rocks in Scotland on one of her mother’s research trips.

Gigi graduated from Pitzer College and went on to graduate school at the University of Washington in Seattle and the University of Bath in England. However, she decided her real calling was creative writing rather than academia. Gigi was awarded the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant for “Artifact”. The grant is given out every year at the Malice Domestic mystery convention to foster the next generation of traditional mystery writers.

Earlier this year I reviewed the novella, ‘Fool’s Gold’ by Gigi Pandian in the book Other People’s Baggage”. This novella is a prequel to “Artifact.” I loved this novella so I was excited to read “Artifact.” I wasn’t disappointed.

I strongly recommend this book. “Artifact” is one of Suspense Magazine’s Best of 2012 winners and I suspect that it may be nominated for several other awards this year.

Five stars out of five.


In accordance with FTC guidelines for reviewers, I would like to clarify that this book was provided to me by the publisher

free of charge.  I am not compensated by the author or publisher for my review. All they expect is an honest review of the work.