The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery, #5)4 Stars

Published October 3rd 2017 by Tantor Audio

The Ninja’s Illusion is the 5th book in the Jaya Jones series and this is a series that I really enjoy. It is a cozy, but with adventure and history thrown in. Jaya is a professor of history, but has a reputation for finding treasure. In this story, Jaya travels to Japan where here best friend Sanjay a.k.a. The Hindi Houdini is working with the controversial magician, Akira who is planning on ding the Indian Rope Trick. It is one of those tricks that is talked about, but noone has ever seen it performed. Sanjay wants Jaya to stay home, but that makes her more eager to travel to Japan. As well she has agreed to help Professor Nakamura with some research into a Dutch Trading Ship and its captain. When Jaya and Sanjay meet up at a temple in Japan and someone dressed as a Ninja tries to harm them, they become very concerned. More questionable occurrences happen as well as a dead body turning up. Can Jaya find the treasure of the Dutchman? Will Sanjay perform The Indian Rope Trick?

This story is intriguing with enough of a mystery to satisfy and cozy mystery lover and with enough adventure to intrigue a mystery/adventure lover. Each of the books in the series can be read as stand alone stories, but once you read one, you will want to go back and read the rest. I love the dialogue between the characters. Whether it is Sanjay and Jaya, Jaya and her librarian friend Tamarind or even her brother, it is easy going and fun. The one thing that did bother me was the romance triangle that seemed to pop up midway through the story. Jaya and Lane have been taking some time apart, and suddenly, Jaya’s best friend Sanjay, announces that he has feelings for her and kisses her. Not only was Jaya a bit uncomfortable with this, but as a reader, I was as well. I hope that storyline does not continue as I do not enjoy love triangles. I was happy to see Tamarind show up in Japan. She does a good job keeping Jaya on track and pointing her in directions that she does not always see on her own. This book has sabotage, murder, and suspicion. Even a body disappears, and suspicions surround a mysterious ninja that seems to be following Jaya and Sanjay. Add in a fox spirit and you have just enough spirituality and magic for a great ending. I recommend this book to lovers of mystery stories whether it be cozy or adventurous. I listened to this book and enjoyed the narration very much. It was easy to listen to, with a well paced reading.

About the Book: 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.

Gigi Pandian webres headshotAbout the Author: I’m Gigi Pandian, a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. I write the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (about a globe-trotting Indian-American historian), and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (about an alchemist and a gargoyle chef in Portland, Oregon).

I’m the only child of cultural anthropologist parents from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. I spent my childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and that’s when I started writing stories that were a cross between Agatha Christie and Indiana Jones. It’s what I still do today.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and a gargoyle who watches over our backyard organic vegetable garden. My debut mystery novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine, and several of my other books and stories have gone on to win additional mystery awards. Yes, this has been a fun ride! I’m now six years cancer-free, and I’m having a wonderful time on this journey.

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