The Cambodian Curse and Other StoriesThe Cambodian Curse and Other Stories (Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery) by Gigi Pandian 

Published October 16th 2018 by Henery Press

3.5 Stars:

This is a collection of short stories from Gigi Pandian. They feature her historian/detective Jaya Jones or her best friend Sanjay, a master of illusion, sometimes referred to as the Hindi Houdini in her full length stories. Most of these stories have been published in other anthologies, but I had not read any of them. I enjoyed these short stories and novellas, especially since they are all “Locked Room Mysteries”. The forward was interesting as well, as it explained the eight methods used in locked room mysteries.

I enjoy the characters of Jaya and Sanjay. They are often right there when a murder occurs and using her wits and historical knowledge, Jaya is able to puzzle out the cause of the death. Sanjay also is able to solve a puzzle by looking outside the box and using his observational skills, is able to find clues other fail to notice and put them together. I enjoyed learning more about some secondary characters from the Jaya Jones stories like Sanjay and Tamarind and even Nadia. The settings in these stories are varied and fun. Visiting a Haunted Inn, an old house, a secluded island, and even a fringe festival in Edinburgh are all interesting and add so much to the story. A great collection of stories from an author that I have come to enjoy very much. I recommend this book to those who like to read a short story interspersed with their longer mysteries. The publisher generously provided me with a copy of this book upon request. The rating, ideas and opinions shared are my own.

About the Book: A treasure trove of nine locked room mysteries from USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning author Gigi Pandian, all set in the Jaya Jones world.

Appearing here for the first time, novelette The Cambodian Curse: When an ancient and supposedly cursed Cambodian sculpture disappears from an impenetrable museum, and the carving’s owner is killed by an invisible assailant while a witness is a few feet away, historian Jaya Jones and her old nemesis Henry North team up to solve the baffling crime.

Stories included: “The Cambodian Curse,” “The Hindi Houdini,” “The Haunted Room,” “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn,” “The Curse of Cloud Castle,” “Tempest in a Teapot,” “A Dark and Stormy Light,” “The Shadow of the River,” plus bonus novella Fool’s Gold.

With an Introduction from New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King addressing why we love locked rooms, and a Foreword from impossible crime mystery historian Douglas G. Greene, teasing out the tradition of John Dickson Carr that Pandian is following. This collection is filled with ingenious stories of magic, mystery, and history.