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Welcome author Gigi Pandian, with a #giveaway

Friend of the Wickeds, Gigi Pandian, is here with us today to celebrate the release of her sixth Accidental Alchemist novel, The Alchemist of Riddle and Ruin. This is Gigi’s fourth visit to the blog, just like Traci Wilton last week. We really need to get going on those Five-Timers jackets! Be sure to comment below to be entered to win her giveaway.

Here’s the blurb

A riddle, a game, and a clue in the garden.

When Zoe Faust sees the ghost of a murdered young woman, is it really a spirit—or a flesh and blood woman who stopped aging because she’s a fellow alchemist?

Sixteen years ago, high school student Ridley Price discovered a secret she planned to reveal through a party game—but someone killed her first. The baffling crime was never solved. Zoe’s friend Heather has always wondered: which of the seven guests at the party killed Ridley? When the newly-appeared ghost turns dangerous, threatening people they love, Zoe teams up with her gargoyle roommate Dorian to unmask the supposed specter.

Take it away, Gigi!

When a sidekick unexpectedly takes over

My sixth Accidental Alchemist novel, The Alchemist of Riddle and Ruin, came out on August 30. When I began writing this culinary & paranormal cozy mystery series, the main character in the book was centuries-old alchemist Zoe Faust. She’s been running from her past, and is finally ready to slow down and put down some roots in Portland, Oregon. But trouble follows her to her new home—namely a living, breathing gargoyle she finds hiding in her moving crates.

From that first book, I’ve adored my supporting cast, especially Dorian Robert-Houdin, the humorous gargoyle who was once stone before being accidentally brought to life through alchemy—but I never imagined Dorian taking over the series as much as he did!

Dorian is a French chef and a food snob who thinks very highly of his abilities as a cook and as an amateur sleuth. He thinks he’s a natural fit for a detective, since as a stone gargoyle he literally has “little grey cells” like Agatha Christie’s Poirot.

Though I didn’t expect it, Dorian came to life so vividly that he stole pretty much every scene he appeared in. Now, six books and one novella into the series, Dorian shares the leading role with Zoe—and some readers are convinced he’s the main character!

I’m not complaining. Well, maybe I’m complaining—but for a different reason. You see, I’m an author who loves to outline the basic plots of my novels before I dive into writing. But Dorian absolutely refuses to stick to an outline! He makes me go in a completely different direction than I intended. I’ve decided to go with it. Because it turns out he’s right—the books are better when I listen to my characters. The Alchemist of Riddle and Ruin was so much fun to write—in spite of the fact that the mystery veered in directions I never saw coming, thanks to a little gargoyle chef.

Readers: Are your favorite characters in the books you love always the main character, or do you fall in love with sidekicks (or villains, or anyone else)? One commenter will win an ebook of any of the 7 books in my Accidental Alchemist mystery series—winner’s choice! (So far there are 6 novels and 1 novella.)


Gigi Pandian

GIGI PANDIAN is a USA Today bestselling and multiple-award-winning author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. She writes the Secret Staircase mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries, and locked-room mystery short stories. Gigi has won Agatha, Anthony, Lefty, and Derringer awards, and was a finalist for the Edgar Award. She lives in Northern California with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard garden. Learn more and sign up for her email newsletter (which includes a free short story and free mini cookbook) at

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