The Alchemist’s Illusion

The Alchemist's IllusionThe Alchemist's Illusion
by Gigi Pandian
Rating: ★★★½
isbn: 9780738753010
Series: Accidental Alchemist #4
Publication Date: February 1, 2019
Pages: 329
Genre: Fantasy, Fiction, Mystery
Publisher: Midnight Ink


I read this book while I read two other supernatural books at the same time, and now my thoughts are all muddled.  But for the most part it’s a slightly better than average cozy paranormal mystery.

Zoe’s an alchemist that accidentally stumbled on the philosopher’s stone and the elixir of life centuries ago and has been hiding her true nature ever since. Her best friend is a gargoyle that received the elixir of life from someone practicing backward alchemy a hundred years ago who got by before meeting Zoe by being a French chef to the blind.  There’s a lot to like in the premise of this book and series, if you like that sort of thing (and I do).

Zoe apprenticed under Nicholas Flamel and his wife, both of whom disappeared centuries ago and were presumed dead, but Zoe had begun having suspicions when she stumbled across a painting of the two of them – something she knew they never allowed.

What follows would be a great story if not for Zoe’s over-riding angst colouring the whole story.  Constant worrying about being found out; her other best friend being railroaded for a crime he didn’t commit because of his race; her gargoyle being discovered; her boyfriend not believing her.  The list is sort of exhaustive, and reading about it is exhaustive.  Beyond that is a really interesting story about hiding in plain sight, and the corruption of desire in a life lived too long.

This book culminates in a few secrets being revealed, so I can only hope the next book will be a lot less angsty and a lot more pure fun.


I read this book for 2021 Halloween Bingo’s Genre: Mystery square.  Underneath all the gargoyles and alchemists, there’s a murder mystery to be solved.

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