"The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories" By Gigi Pandian: Review/Giveaway

by Cynthia Chow

Details on how to win a copy of this book at the end of the review and a link to purchase it.

As the forwards by Laurie K. King and Douglas G. Greene state, locked-room mysteries are irresistible “miracle problems,” puzzles that challenge the reader to solve them before the detective. Their appeal is undeniable in this collection of short stories, all featuring some aspect of a locked-room mystery and most of them starring history professor Jaya Anand Jones. Her effervescent love of history and research is put to the test as she unravels seemingly impossible crimes all occurring in locked rooms.

➡ switch to KingsRiverLife.com for this week's issue ⬅

The longer novella, "The Cambodian Curse", sees the return of questionably reformed art thief and con man Henry North, a man whose appeal is undeniable but whose ethics are dubious. He knows that no matter how much Jaya might deny it, she loves adventure and new discoveries as much as teaching in classrooms, which is why she finds herself solving the mystery of a lethal, poisonous curse. Another seemingly supernatural mystery challenges Jaya in “The Library Ghost of Tanglewood Inn,” where she and her university librarian friend Tamarind are stranded over Thanksgiving weekend with a best-selling author who gained fame after being acquitted of murder. Fans of the Jaya Jones mysteries will be delighted to know that her magician friend Sanjay Rai, the Hindi Houdini, plays a prominent, continuing role throughout the short stories. He would probably rather be featured even more in Jaya’s life though, as his frustration at being “friend zoned” is readily apparent to all but the one woman who normally utilizes outstanding observational skills.
mystery book cover
Image Source Henery Press

While some of these stories have been featured in other collections – “Fool’s Gold” is a standout from Henery Press’s Other People’s Baggage anthology – most will be new, with one unique tale told from the viewpoint of a side character. Jaya always proves to be an engaging and witty woman, one whose love and appreciation of history is refreshing and contagious. Jaya’s research skills are as adept as Sanjay’s ability to create and detect deceptions, which is why the two together are such a formidable pair. Mystery lovers will adore this collection of tales all depicting the locked-room methods created by John Dickson Carr, and it is apparent that Gigi Pandian has studied and celebrates the traditional mystery world. These classic puzzles are only enhanced by the unique ingredient that is the clever and ingenious Jaya Jones.

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of The Cambodian Curse and Other Stories, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "cambodian,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen January 5, 2019. U.S. residents only.If entering via comment please include your email address. You can read our privacy statement here if you like.

Check out other mystery articles, reviews, book giveaways & mystery short stories in our mystery section in Kings River Life and in our mystery category here on KRL News & Reviews. And join our mystery Facebook group to keep up with everything mystery we post, and have a chance at some extra giveaways. And check out our new mystery podcast featuring mystery short stories and first chapters read by actors!

You can use these links to purchase the book. If you have adblocker on you may not be able to see the Amazon link:

Cynthia Chow is the branch manager of Kaneohe Public Library on the island of Oahu. She balances a librarian lifestyle of cardigans and hair buns with a passion for motorcycle riding and regrettable tattoos (sorry, Mom).

Disclosure: This post contains links to an affiliate program, for which we receive a few cents if you make purchases. KRL also receives free copies of most of the books that it reviews, that are provided in exchange for an honest review of the book.


  1. Love this series. doward1952(at)yahoo(dot)com

  2. Sounds like a great read! Thanks for the chance. JL_Minter (at) hotmail (dot) com

  3. Sounds like an interesting book. Would really like to read.


Post a Comment