Jaya Jones is a history professor, and she doesn’t lead what she’d consider an exciting life. But all that changes when she is sent a mysterious piece of Indian jewelry by an old flame . . . and then that old flame turns out to have died the very same day he mailed the package. She knows that the piece is both historical and valuable, so she partners with Lane, a graduate student who can help her identify the jewelry, to try and figure out what it is and why someone would be willing to commit murder over it.
Artifact seamlessly blends adventure, history, and a smart, witty heroine into a novel that cozy mystery fans absolutely should not miss.
Artifact is a fun mystery novel centering around the mystery behind an artifact: the piece of jewelry Jaya is sent in the mail. What is it? And why did Jaya’s ex send it to her? Was he killed over it? Finding the answers to these numerous questions means delving into history, something most readers will really enjoy. Pandian does a great job balancing the narrative and the background; the history is interesting, but never overwhelms the story, instead providing a little extra depth.
Jaya Jones is exactly the type of woman you’d want spearheading the investigation into the artifact: funny and smart, but not perfect. When things seem dire, Jaya’s personality keeps the novel from ever becoming too serious; she’s a great, well-rounded person that readers will truly enjoy.
The mystery in Artifact is fun and intriguing; though it takes a somewhat strange turn in the latter half of the novel, Pandian’s confident writing keeps the narrative from veering too far off course. In the end, any cozy mystery fan (or lover of lighter mysteries) will absolutely love what Gigi Pandian has done with this first Jaya Jones mystery: it’s got incredible amounts of charm and wit, and promises much more to come.