Pirate Vishnu: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery

Henery. Feb. 2014. 308p. ISBN 9781938383977. pap. $15.95. M
Suppose your forebear was a hero who died trying to save his friend during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Or rewind—maybe he was a notorious thief. History professor Jaya Jones knows little about her great-uncle Anand, except that he left India for a fresh start in California. Then, out of the blue, a stranger shows up with a treasure map that he believes relates to Anand's death. He loans Jaya the map, but, frighteningly, the man is murdered later that day. Once again (after Artifact), Jaya flexes her academic muscles and embarks on a global adventure that, this time, leads her to India. Mix in a shady professor and a skeptical police detective, and the result is an energetic chase to the X on that historic map.
VERDICT Pandian's second series entry sets a playful tone yet provides enough twists to keep mystery buffs engaged, too. Through her effective use of a parallel historical narrative, the author streamlines an intricate plot. Despite some awkward dialog, she brings a dynamic freshness to her cozy.

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