"The Glass Thief" 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 links to purchase it.

For an assistant professor of history in San Francisco, Jaya Jones has been involved in an alarming number of kidnappings, shootouts, and other life-threatening escapades. So perhaps it shouldn’t be too surprising when best-selling author Rick Coronado notifies Jaya that her recent treasure-recovering adventures have led him to seek her out as a consultant. It’s been seven years since Coronado last wrote a book featuring continent-romping adventuress Gabriela Glass, and more than just writer’s block is responsible for frustrating his editor and readers. Similar to Agatha Christie’s unexplained eleven-day disappearance in 1926, seven years ago Rick Coronado went missing for six weeks until he appeared, with no explanation nor memory, in Thailand. Only now is Coronado breaking out of his reclusive status to meet specifically with Jaya, seeking her advice regarding chapters depicting all-too-real events. Before Jaya can meet with the author who crafts her guilty-pleasure reads, Coronado’s body washes up in the San Francisco Bay.

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Image Source Henery Press
With the help of her friend, intrepid university librarian Tamarind, Jaya discovers that the curse and mysterious deaths depicted in Coronado’s early drafted chapters too closely resemble a very real Paris murder and break-in that occurred seven years past. The connection between the theft of a Serpent King statue and the timing of Coronado’s disappearance can’t be coincidental, sending a very determined and somewhat obsessive Jaya off on the next flight to Paris. Enlisting the help of adorable retired stage magician Sebastien Renaud, Jaya quickly puts the puzzle pieces together that lead uncomfortably back to her life in San Francisco. Now clearing an accused thief is as important to Jaya as tracking down the missing statue, even when she learns that the Naga snake statue was protecting even more treasure.

Although I’ve been a rabid fan of the Jaya Jones mystery series since its first appearance five books ago, reading Gigi Pandian’s dedication to Elizabeth Peters completely cemented my love for the series. The fictional-within-the-fiction character of Gabriela Glass is indeed a combination of Lara Croft and Amelia Peabody, but Jaya Jones is an empathetic advocate for the preservation of cultural artifacts and ensuring the return to their country of origin. It’s a moral stance that is creating bumps in her relationship with Lane Peters, a reformed art purveyor who sees shades of gray in his past acts of appropriation. It’s a complicated issue, and the author deftly and fairly unravels the arguments that often land contested items locked up in court lockers for years.

What is inarguable is the author’s appreciation and admiration for different cultures, beautifully rendered through the descriptions of Paris and Cambodia. One of the many reasons I so enjoy this series is being able to learn about the often untold histories of a variety of peoples and countries. History is written by the winners, and Jaya is a relentless force for the truth of those not so fortunate to end up on top. That this information is relayed through tales of modern-day adventure, romance, and even academic infightings reveals the genius involved in plotting these witty, rollicking mystery novels.

Check out other Henery Press mysteries on their website.

To enter to win a copy of The Glass Thief, simply email KRL at krlcontests@gmail[dot]com by replacing the [dot] with a period, and with the subject line "glass,” or comment on this article. A winner will be chosen February 8, 2020. U.S. residents only. If entering via comment please include your email address. If entering via email please include your mailing address in case you win, we will not use your address for any other reason. 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. A new went up this week!

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. This definitely sounds interesting!

  2. I’d love to read this!

  3. Would love to get a copy! tWarner419@aol.com

  4. Well this sounds like an excellent story. Thanks for the chance to win a copy. crs(at)codedivasites(dot)com

  5. In my TBR list. Looking forward to reading.

  6. Would love to read "glass" great cover. Usersns8800@aol.com

  7. This series is on my tbr list. Think I need to bump it up. Sounds like a great series! Fingers crossed!
    Stacieamelotte (at) yahoo (dot) com

  8. Sounds very interesting! I love the Accidental Alchemist series and want to start reading this one.


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