Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Cozy Thrillers: All of the Fun with None of the Violence: Guest Post, Review, & Giveaway

Cozy Thrillers: All of the Fun with None of the Violence
Gigi Pandian

I grew up devouring books by Elizabeth Peters. Her mysteries were a perfect combination of light-hearted adventure, romance, mystery, history, and humor. Globe-trotting historian Vicky Bliss and intrepid Egyptologist Amelia Peabody were my favorite characters of hers, though I also loved librarian-turned-romance-writer Jacqueline Kirby.

I never thought much about how to categorize her books until I became a mystery novelist myself. I learned, then, that my own mystery novels couldn’t be easily categorized. I thought back on those Elizabeth Peters novels that had inspired me to become a writer, and realized that although our books could fall into the cozy mystery category (a closed set of characters, and no gratuitous violence, sex, or foul language), with their adventure plots and foreign destinations they’re also novels of suspense. (In fact, new editions of Elizabeth Peters’ books call her books novels of suspense.)

Where did that leave me? Was I a cozy thriller writer? That combination of cozy-suspense made it a bit of a challenge to find a publisher at first, but I felt strongly about writing the stories I felt passionately about, so I stuck to writing my cozy adventures as I wanted to write them. And it paid off! Now that I found a wonderful publisher for the series (Henery Press), many reviewers have compared my books to Elizabeth Peters.

My Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series is about an adventurous female historian who solves a present-day crimes linked to a historic treasures. All the books take Jaya and friends from San Francisco to a different foreign destination as she follows clues that lead to long-lost treasures.

In the new book, Quicksand, Jaya travels to Paris and the ancient fortress of Mont Saint-Michel. The previous two books – Artifact and Pirate Vishnu – were treasure hunts that led from San Francisco to the Highlands of Scotland and the southern tip of India.

You bet I’m having a lot of fun writing my cozy thrillers.

Quicksand by Gigi Pandian
The Third Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery

Once again I am swept away by Gigi Pandian. After five months with no word Lane sends Jaya a first class ticket to Paris to meet him. It's the start of the semester, she's fighting for tenure, how can she go? How can she not go? Instead of a romantic liaison, however, Jaya winds up in the middle of a con game, a major con, more dangerous than she could have imagined.

Filled with illusions, automatons, and history, we embark on another adventure, this time leaving San Fransisco for France, but with Indian history ever in the forefront. Secrets long thought lost or buried surface and there are questions of trust. Can people ever change? Do we want them to? Will the truth bring us closer, or further apart? What is it we really want? Jaya explores all of these questions, and finds something within herself as well.

I love the historical detail, even though some is fictional (and the author kindly points out fact from fiction in her author's note). The characters are so layered and discovering their truths even as they discover the truths about themselves and discover the truths about each other is fascinating. Fast paced, rich in detail, and with depth of character and story Quicksand is another great addition to the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series. I can't wait to see what adventures lie ahead. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This cozy mystery series sounds delightful! Thank you fro the giveaway.

  2. What a wonderful review and fascinating feature. This mystery would be enjoyable and a treasure. Many thanks for this great giveaway. saubleb(at)gmail(dot)com

  3. I really enjoy cozies and this looks very interesting. Thanks for this opportunity.

  4. Sounds exciting! Thanks for the review an chance to win!

  5. I also love Elizabeth Peters' books--Amelia Peabody is my favorite. I am anxious to get started reading the Jaya Jones books. I also heard that Vishnu won the Rose award at Left Coast Crime--many congratulations!

    1. Thank you! I was so surprised and honored to win the Rose Award.

  6. What a terrific prize package. And Gigi's books (and her interviews) are terrific also. Thanks for the giveaway.

  7. Thanks for hosting me, Kathy, and to all of you for the interest in the book. I'm having a lot of fun writing these treasure hunts :)

  8. Great post! I have heard a lot of great things about Elizabeth Peters, still need to give one of those a try. Looking forward to Jaya's adventure! Thanks for the chance to win!

  9. I love the sound of this book. A great Guest Post thank you.

  10. Congratulations on winning the Rose Award at Left Coast Crime last weekend.