MYSTERY

The Accidental Alchemist

Midnight Ink. Jan. 2015. 360p. ISBN 9780738741840. pap. $14.99. M
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When herbalist and former alchemist Zoe Faust finally arrives at her fixer-upper in Portland, OR, she discovers that someone had rifled through her shipped belongings. Nothing is missing, but she finds an addition—a three-and-a-half foot living gargoyle named Dorian. The next morning Zoe receives another shock: her just-hired handyman lies dead on her porch and several of her alchemical texts are missing. As Zoe tries to put her old life behind her, she will have to use her past skills to transform old secrets and lies into the truth.
VERDICT Pandian (Pirate Vishnu; coauthor, Other People's Baggage) launches a supernatural cozy series that hits high marks for a modern twist on an ancient practice. Amusing supporting characters and historical details solidify this engaging mystery.

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