Wednesday, October 4, 2017

The Ninja's Illusion by Gigi Pandian - #review #giveaway

A fabled illusion performed by a stage magician who claims to possess real supernatural powers. A treasure from the colonial era in India when international supremacies vied for power. A phantom trading ship lost over 200 years ago. And a ninja whose murderous intentions in present-day Japan connect the deeds of a long-dead trader who was much more than he seemed…

When Jaya travels from San Francisco to Japan with her stage magician best friend Sanjay—a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini—for his Japanese debut, she jumps at the chance to pursue her own research that could solve a tantalizing centuries-old mystery.

With the colorful autumn leaves of historic Kyoto falling around her, Jaya soon loses sight of what’s real and what’s a deception. A mysterious ninja attempts sabotage on Sanjay’s trick, along with Japan’s most controversial magician, Akira. Ancient folklore blurs the lines between illusion and reality when a magician’s assistant appears to be a kitsune, a mythical fox spirit. As tricks escalate to murder, Jaya and her friends must unravel secrets hidden in the ancient capital of Japan, before one of their own becomes the next victim.



So your best friend invites you along to see his magic debut in Japan.  Um, yeah!  And I don't even have to hide away in your luggage?  Where do I sign up for a deal like that???

Of course, there's magic (Wow!), and then there's magic (Uh-oh!)

Opening for Japan's most famous magician is a wonderful opportunity for Sanjay.  But his headliner, Akira, not only claims actual magical powers, but apparently has a kitsune for an assistant and insists anyone connected with his show sign away their souls in a confidentiality agreement if they come wihin a mile of his show site.  Now, it's not really that bad, but the guy is pretty paranoid.

Of course, it's not really paranoia if they are after you.

And someone does seem to be at best interfering with the production, in the middle, sabotaging, and at worst, putting the participants in mortal danger.  When Jaya tries to find out what's going on, someone dressed as a ninja gets in the way, complete with black outfit, obscured facial features, and even a shuriken or two. 

The book is really quite exciting if that were it.  But the author throws in a couple of stunning developments that really take your breath away.  And I like how Jaya keeps surprising the men around her ... with her mental, professional and physical abilities.  If I were still young, I'd want to be Jaya when I grew up!

Now I've read a Gigi Pandian book or two (including Michaelangelo's Ghost, another Jaya Jones mystery, and The Masquerading Magician, in the Accidental Alchemist series).  They are all great stories, with strong heroines and tight action.  Ninja, as well as the other books listed here, have substance ... or are, what I like to call 'meaty' stories. 

Be sure to make space on your bookshelf (or e-reader) to add The Ninja's Illusion to your library!



USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi’s fiction has been awarded the Malice Domestic Grant and Lefty Awards, and been nominated for Macavity and Agatha Awards. Sign up for her email newsletter at




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(Disclosure:  I received a copy of this book from the author and publishers via Great Escapes Virtual Book tours in exchange for my honest review.)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for featuring THE NINJA'S ILLUSION on your blog. I really enjoyed your review and agree with you that Jaya is a great character!