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The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian. Book Review

January 13, 2017


Dorian Robert-Houdin, a three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle, and a chef with a penchant for Hercule Poirot, is close to being turned permanently back to stone. When a long-lost gargoyle who may be connected to Dorian turns up in Paris, Dorian’s friend Zoe Faust leaves Portland to find him and the answer to Dorian’s petrification. Unfortunately her appearance in Paris sparks off an interest in a seventy-year-old mysterious death with ties to Zoe. Suddenly Zoe and Dorian’s lives become a whole lot more complicated.

This is the fourth outing of Dorian and Zoe and is no less entertaining for that. All the characters of Portland (a place which seems a very appealing town in which to reside) are now well established.

That Dorian is still in the process of being turned to stone adds tension to the story. Dorian might be a gargoyle, but anyone who has been following the series will have a heart of stone (excuse the pun) if they do not love Dorian. Gigi Pandian does capture the meaning of a deep and binding friendship between Dorian and Zoe, particularly as the two of them are likely to live a very long time. Dorian’s acceptance of his situation and the lengths Zoe is prepared to go to for Dorians’ salvation is hankie worthy.

The stakes are also upped because Zoe is cornered in Paris and has to extricate herself from a very difficult situation in which she might have been involved in the past.

Once again there is cosy-crime murder and mayhem, and the type of writing which is effortless to read and entertaining.

This is not a deep and meaningful social essay, but an enjoyable romp, with thrills and friendship.

Rather than awarding stars this is the kind of book which should be judged by the quality of biscuit to be eaten while reading it. So go buy something expensive and comforting which can be nibbled slowly while luxuriating in an undemanding and fun read.

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