About Gigi

Gigi Pandian webres headshotI’m Gigi Pandian, a USA Today bestselling mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. I write the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series (about a globe-trotting Indian-American historian), and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries (about an alchemist and a gargoyle chef in Portland, Oregon).

I’m the only child of cultural anthropologist parents from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. I spent my childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and that’s when I started writing stories that were a cross between Agatha Christie and Indiana Jones. It’s what I still do today.

I live in the San Francisco Bay Area with my husband and a gargoyle who watches over our backyard organic vegetable garden. My debut mystery novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine. My fiction has been awarded Rose and Lefty awards and shortlisted for Macavity and Agatha awards—yes, this has been a fun ride! I’m now five years cancer-free, and I’m having a wonderful time on this journey.

 

Short Bio

Gigi Pandian is the USA Today bestselling author of the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mystery series and the Accidental Alchemist mysteries. She’s the child of cultural anthropologist parents from New Mexico and the southern tip of India. After spending her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, she now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. Gigi’s debut mystery novel, Artifact, was awarded a Malice Domestic Grant and named a “Best of 2012” Debut Novel by Suspense Magazine. Her fiction has been awarded Rose and Lefty awards and shortlisted for Macavity and Agatha awards.

 

Long Bio

USA Today bestselling author Gigi Pandian is the child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the the southern tip of India. She spent her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips, and now lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and a gargoyle who watches over the backyard vegetable garden. Gigi writes the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series, the Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and locked-room mystery stories.

While in graduate school, Gigi realized she was much better suited to writing about the fictional adventures of academics than being one herself. She left academia for art school, and began writing the Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery Series. Artifact, the first book in the series, was awarded the William F. Deeck Malice Domestic Grant, hit the USA Today bestseller list, and was named a “Best of 2012” Debut Mystery by Suspense Magazine.

Gigi as a kid in Scotland

Gigi as a kid exploring Scotland on one of her anthropologist mom’s research trips.

The Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mysteries continued with Pirate Vishnu (awarded the Left Coast Crime Rose Award), Quicksand, and Michelangelo’s Ghost (named a “Best of 2016” Cozy Mystery by Suspense Magazine and short-listed for Lefty and Silver Falchion awards).  

The first in Gigi’s Accidental Alchemist Mystery Series, The Accidental Alchemist, was awarded a Lefty Award. The Masquerading Magician was released in 2016, and The Elusive Elixir followed in January 2017. Gigi is continuing to write both series.

In addition to novels, Gigi’s locked-room “impossible crime” mystery short stories have been published in several anthologies. Her story “The Hindi Houdini” was shortlisted for Agatha and Macavity awards.

Gigi’s publishing journey was kicked into high gear by a cancer diagnosis. A month after her 36th birthday, Gigi was diagnosed with breast cancer. To get through her treatments, she decided to throw herself into her mystery writing. (Read more about her publishing journey here and here.) She’s doing well, but life is still uncertain, so she plans to have a lot of fun in life as she travels the world with her husband, camera, and notebook for writing mysteries.

Gigi sits on the board of Sisters in Crime, is a member of Mystery Writers of America, and is an avid participant in National Novel Writing Month.