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The Elusive Elixir

(An Accidental Alchemist Mystery #3)

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  901 ratings  ·  122 reviews

Dorian Robert-Houdin, the three-and-a-half-foot gargoyle chef who fancies himself a modern-day Poirot, is slowly turning into stone, and it's up to Zoe Faust to unravel the alchemical secrets that can save him. When they discover that a long-lost stone gargoyle with a connection to Dorian has reappeared in Europe, the stakes are even higher. From Portland to Paris, Zoe sea

Kindle Edition, 314 pages
Published January 8th 2017 by Midnight Ink
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Average rating 4.07  · 
Rating details
 ·  901 ratings  ·  122 reviews

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Bonnie Shores
Aug 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, supernatural
4 STARS = a grade of B for me. It was good, but not great. Having read the first two books in the series, I feel that this book was the weakest. If not for the fact that I love "science-y stuff" I don't think I would have liked it at all. The details, fact and fiction, of alchemy were discussed over and over again. And by over and over, I mean repeated. I wanted to shout, How many times are you going to explain the same thing?


Another aspect of the story that probably would have gotten real old r
Sarah (Workaday Reads)
Aug 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
I love this series so much. Who'd think that a stone gargoyle with impeccable cooking abilities would be such a lovable character? Dorian is so sweet. He's main motivation is to be able to just live his life, and that's such a human desire.

Zoe at times annoys me. For being so old, she can be incredibly naive and stupid. She's just far too trusting. A little more thought about basic human behaviour and most of the mess in this story would have been avoided. At least it made for entertaining read.
2020 bk 83. Opening in Paris, Zoe is set upon by a woman who swears she knows her - and her secrets. After determining that there is indeed another living gargoyle turned to stone, she cuts her visit short, and returns home not to find the calm she is seeking, but rather chaos. This is a tale of secret societies, good versus evil, duplicity, betrayal, loyal friends, and sacrifice. Gigi Pandian has written a unique trio of fantasy/mysteries that hold the attention and remain after the stories are ...more
Olga Godim
Nov 24, 2016 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy-scifi
I received this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Zoe, the protagonist of this cozy mystery, is an alchemist. Three hundred years ago, she accidentally found the elixir of life and made herself immortal. Since then, she’s tried to lead a quiet life and help as many people as she could with her healing herbs, infused with her magic, but life keeps throwing hurdles in her way.
This novel, #3 in the series about Zoe, starts with her visit to Paris. Some time ago, her friend, roomm
Apr 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
I loved this series and I am sad to see it end. The ending seemed rushed and this disappointed me but maybe I am just saddened by the conclusion. I could easily read further stories featuring the Gargoyle and his friends. I still think this is a wonderful idea for a unique character.

This is an easy listen and such a fun story of a Gargoyle Dorian who must fight time and foes to prevent turning back to stone--permanently! His friends help him on this quest but his presence primarily affects his
May 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
Not bad. Liked the story. But I absolutely hate that the writer is repeating the same points, sometimes even in the exact same words, again and again. I get it!
Dec 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
Series Info/Source: This is the 3rd book in the Accidental Alchemist Mysteries. I borrowed this book from the library. There are currently four books in this series.

Story (4/5): Zoe goes back to Paris to track down some leads regarding Dorian’s condition and is hoping to hunt down the other living gargoyle. However, while she is there an old woman recognizes her and threatens her with legal action over the murder of Zoe’s lab assisstant from the 1940’s (Jasper). Zoe ends up having to flee back
Jennifer McLean
Sep 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: mystery, supernatural, thriller
Shelves: favorites
"The Elusive Elixir" by Gigi Pandian is the latest book in the Gargoyle series and it comes out January 8, 2017. I love this series, it's so wonderfully creative. The previous books are: "The Accidental Alchemist" and "The Masquerading Magician", just click the links to read my reviews on these previous books.

Zoe Faust is and alchemist, she uses plants and herbs to make healing elixirs. Her best friend is a gargoyle named Dorian who has come to life but now is inexplicably turing back into stone
Dec 24, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio-book, fantasy
This is the third in a trilogy starting with The Accidental Alchemist. What a wonderful trilogy. It ended with enough of loose ends, once can hope that there will be more. Eva Faust is many many years old, an alchemist, having accidentally discovered the Elixir of Life. She abandoned her practice centuries ago and is now living in contemporary Portland Oregon. Not one to develop attachments, she has developed many in her short stay here. Solving mysteries, finding friends, and maybe love. As wel ...more
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: mystery, fantasy
It’s a race against time for accidental alchemist Zoe Faust to save her gargoyle friend Dorian from turning to stone forever. Her research leads to Notre Dame in Paris and to a mysterious bookseller who might have a text with the knowledge she needs. But then people connected to her start dying, and she realizes she’s not the only one who wants the forbidden book. Mythology mingles with murder in this unusual mystery. Recipes and cooking details add to the appeal.
Julie Totsch
Jan 18, 2021 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I didn't see that coming

I'm pretty good at figuring out who the bad guy is. I totally didn't see it coming in this book. I really need to read these books slower, because I'm moving on to book 4 and five won't be out until later this year. (Or, we could convince Gigi to write faster.)
Feb 24, 2019 rated it liked it
Enjoyable story, but a bit too much explaining about the "science" of alchemy and details about vegan food and drink. Also the heroine was quite gullible and overshared information with untrustworthy people. Still, the gargoyle was endearing. ...more
Apr 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I love these books. they are light and fun and I even learn new things not to mention great receipts in them!
Ellie Mackin
Apr 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Read the whole trilogy in a month. Funny, exciting, eventful and unpredictable this is definitely one of the best new authors I've discovered this year. ...more
Jan 10, 2017 rated it really liked it
This, the third book of the Accidental alchemist series, takes us out of Portland Oregon to begin in Paris. I do have to open by saying that I feel Zoe Faust is a little slow on the uptake when it comes to figuring out things, and much of the time the other characters are what keep me loving these books so much.

The author can really bring to life the personalities of gargoyles, teens, unaging alchemists and a police detective, and make it not only work? But it's enjoyable.

Part of what makes th
Mar 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, mystery
Dorian and Zoe make for a delightful team, as ever. Zoe's alchemical background comes into play here as she has to unravel a mystery in two times. Meanwhile, Dorian's situation continues to deteriorate as he comes closer and closer to turning to stone.

The interlocking mysteries are masterfully created and the personal interactions are top notch. Also, there are recipes!

Pandian is a truly admirable mystery writer and manages the rare genre of cozy mystery fantasy with skill.
Jan 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
The Elusive Elixir by Gigi Pandian is the third book in The Accidental Alchemist Mystery series. Zoe Faust is in Paris hoping to find answers to help her gargoyle friend, Dorian Robert-Houdin. Dorian was changed from a stone gargoyle at Notre Dame Cathedral’s Gallery of Gargoyle’s into a live gargoyle. But over the last few months he has slowly turning back into stone. Dorian will be alive but trapped in his stone exterior. Zoe wants to save him and has come to Paris for answers. Another gargoyl ...more
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The Third Accidental Alchemist Mystery

Shocking truths from the past are revealed as Zoe travels to France to hunt for a cure for Dorian who continues to turn into stone. As Zoe copes with these revelations upon her return to Portland, even more secrets are revealed and the dangers of not untrue alchemy prove deadly. Will Zoe be able to save Dorian without sacrificing herself, or anyone else? Will Max be able to accept all that Zoe is?

In this third book in the A
Jan 01, 2017 rated it did not like it
I received a copy of The Elusive Elixir courtesy of NetGalley, who unfortunately didn't mention this was the third book in a series. I got the feeling this was the case almost as soon as I started reading: there were many little asides in the narrative explaining things that had happened before. At first I thought "oh this is useful, I can still understand this without reading the previous two books". Unfortunately these little asides carried on and on until I got to 30% of the way through and h ...more
Jeanne Adamek
Feb 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a mystery series that I have always been pleased to read. It is different--unusual. I love the characters. Characters that the author has described so well that I can actually see them. And although I know that I will never be vegan, I find that in this book, the aspects on hearing how the food has been enjoyed I know that I will (and have) try the food.

The mystery in this story wasn't too hard to solve. This didn't bother me as the story contained so many more elements than mystery. The
Empress Reece (Hooked on Books)
I absolutely love this series and its quirky characters- Zoe and Dorian, the gargoyle! Alchemy is one of my favorite subjects to read about and this series has plenty of it. Zoe is still trying to find the alchemical secret that will stop the process that's slowly turning Dorian into stone.

This book starts off with Zoe in Paris. She doesn't think she'll be recognized in such a big city but of course she is. That's how it always go isn't it- when you don't want to be seen, you see everyone under
Aug 29, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery
This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 4.0 of 5

Ah...finally. The story develops, is focused and we get the read that we've been looking for through three volumes.

Zoe Faust is a 300 year old alchemist. Her specialty is creating potions of healing, But all her knowledge and years of experience aren't helping her heal her good friend Dorian. Dorian is a living gargoyle, but he is slowly converting back to stone and Zoe is his only hope or he'll be alive but trapped in hi
Wendy Kendall
May 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Centuries-old protagonist Zoe Faust, the accidental alchemist, is traveling between Portland, Oregon and Paris, France, in search of an Elusive Elixir that can help her friend and sidekick, Dorian the three-foot tall gargoyle chef. He is facing a dire dilemma as he is slowly turning into stone. As you can imagine, Dorian has to keep a low profile around Portland to avoid scaring the residents, although his innate talents and humor are truly a delight. Only Zoe can unravel the alchemical secrets ...more
Lissa Notreallywolf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
The Elusive Elixir: An Accidental Alchemist 3
Reading in chronological order advantageous.

In A Nutshell Zoe a vegan alchemist sets out to save her best friend from lock-in syndrome. Fantasy writing that captures the heart and tickles the ribs. Good read.

The Protagonist: Pick your protagonists. Zoe Faust, a nearly 200-year-old alchemist with naturally platinum hair. Or Dorian Robert-Houdin, a 3.5-foot gargoyle chef with a Poirot complex. Dorian is cute and funny although he is also capable of bei
Mar 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
So excited to finally toggle this from want-to-read to currently reading, thanks to my library!

Number three in the series is darker than the first two, as it centers around the aspects of backward alchemy and the sacrifice required to go down that path. Oddly, not as much discussion of food and recipes as in previous entries in the series, considering Dorian has a new part-time gig as a chef for the blind man from #2. The reader finds Zoe Faust, a 300+-year-old alchemist, in Paris, scouring Notr
Feb 27, 2017 rated it liked it
I really struggle with review for this series. Each book feels more like a 2-star ("it was okay") kind of book, but since I've continue to read through three of them, there is clearly enough there to keep me coming back. So 3 starts for the return factor.

This particular book was really rather extra implausible. Which is funny, considering the overarching premise is a 300-year old vegan alchemist trying to save a stone gargoyle who has been brought to life. But it was the international travel log
Dec 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The third book in the Accidental Alchemist finds Zoe still on a quest to keep Dorian her gargoyle from turning permanently into a stone statue. While on her quest for the solution, her past raises its head in many ways. Will she finally find answers or will her past finally catch up to her in a deadly way? I have read the first two books in the series and was excited to see a third book. Ms. Paladin is an excellent writer, especially in how she makes her characters so flawed but likeable, even t ...more
The Elusive Elixir is the third book in An Accidental Alchemist Mystery series. It can be read as a standalone despite the fact it has on overarching plot regarding the fate of a most delightful side kick. Zoe Faust is an alchemist, to be precise she is a 300 plus years old alchemist who accidentally for some reason has turned sort of immortal. As she prepares to live her life as an herbalist exploring and settling down in Portland, Oregon, she comes into contact with Dorian Robert-Houdin, a thr ...more
Becky Burciaga
Nov 17, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This third in the Accidental Alchemist Mystery series has built upon the previous two books (which I recommend reading first for a solid backstory) to answer many questions left unanswered, yet leaves the door open (thankfully) for more for Dorian and Zoe. I enjoy Ms Pandian's writing, it's clever, quick and truly makes you think. It opens a door to different lifestyles, and ways of thinking.

As with this author's other stories, there is nonstop movement of a journey (metaphorically and otherwis
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Gigi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and Agatha Award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. She's the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India, and spent her childhood traveling around the world on their research trips. She now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the ga ...more

Other books in the series

An Accidental Alchemist Mystery (5 books)
  • The Accidental Alchemist
  • The Masquerading Magician
  • The Alchemist's Illusion (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery #4)
  • The Lost Gargoyle of Paris (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery #4.5)

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