Quicksand ,the third book in the Jaya Jones mystery series by Gigi Pandian, begins with Jaya settled in the perfect job, with good friends, a nice apartment, and an odd feeling of restlessness. She is restless enough that when Lane Peters, with whom she had an earlier adventure and romance, sends her first class tickets to Paris, she goes Once there, she finds herself blackmailed into helping rob the Louvre. This leaves her determined to find out what it is her blackmailer really wanted, and if that involves locating a priceless historical treasure, so much the better. All of this makes Quicksand an absorbing blend of history, mystery, and romance.
I admit that for the first couple of pages, I was tempted to give Jaya a good shaking: She is a tenure-track professor with students who not only stay after class to ask questions but who rush en masse to the library to check out the books she’s mentioned; she has a perfect apartment; and her friends are entirely supportive. And she’s restless?! Once the story got going, though (about page four or so), I was sucked in.
Pandian writes a fast-paced mystery with plenty of excitement and colorful characters. From Lane’s former mentor, North, to the elderly magician and automaton maker, Sebastien, they are deftly sketched individuals. She also has a knack for recreating locations, making the tide-circled Mont Saint-Michel both beautiful and eerie and capturing the wonder of Les Machines de L’ile exhibition. While she is at it, Pandian writes my favorite kind of romance. There is plenty of physical attraction, but that is not the sum total of the relationship between Lane and Jaya. The two also actively enjoy working together and support one another’s strengths. It is true that historical details sometimes start to pile up, but the majority are, in fact, relevant to the mystery and used in resolving it.
Quicksand proved a satisfying light read, perfect for a lazy day. Although it is the third book in a series and does contain references to previous events, a new reader could easily start here.
Find out more about Gigi Pandian—including some delicious recipes she’s written—on gigipandian.com
Other books by Gigi Pandian: