Monday, December 26, 2016

Michelangelo's Ghost: A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery

Happy Boxing Day!  This is a holiday celebrated in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, Scotland, Ireland and many countries that previously belonged to the British Empire.  In many of these countries it is their "shopping day" which is similar to our "Black Friday".  

Michelangelo’s Ghost by Gigi Pandian is the fourth book in A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series.  Jaya Jones is going through her back emails from people who would like her assistance with treasure hunts when she discovers one from Dr. Lilth Vine.  Lilith used to be Jaya’s professor and a mentor.  Lilth needs Jaya helps and requests she pay a visit.  Lilth found a small reference in Wilson Meeks paper regarding Renaissance artist, Lozzaro Allegri.  It sent Lilth to Italy where she purchased lost sketchbooks from his ancestors.  In the sketchbooks, there are references to his hidden studio.  Lilth was unable to continue her search, and she would like Jaya to finish the hunt.  Lilth entrusts three sketchbooks along with research into Jaya’s care.  There are clues to the location of Lozzaro’s hidden studio in his sketchbooks. A few days later Jaya receives a call from Lilth. Lilth is dying and gives Jaya a cryptic message.  Jaya believes she was murdered for her research information.  Jaya discusses the quest with her brother, Mahilan and his girlfriend, Ava.  Jaya is determined to get answers.  When the semester ends, the three of them head to Italy to search Bomarzo’s Park of Monsters (a sculpture garden).  But someone is trying to thwart Jaya’s investigation and a ghost is protecting the sculpture garden.  Will Jaya be able to discover the location of Lozzaro’s lost art studio?  Is there a chance his works of art have survived (it has been 500 years)?  Join Jaya on her pursuit in Michelangelo’s Ghost.

Michelangelo’s Ghost is a well-researched novel.  I found the book to be jam packed with historical information (it can be very over whelming).  It took me two attempts to get through the novel (I just could not get into it the first time I tried to read it).  I found the pace to be a little slow, and it can be hard to keep track of the various characters and details (I only talked about three characters).  I found information about the search to be repeated frequently (especially about the artist, the historical period, how Jaya felt about Lane).  I found many things to be implausible.  Jaya is a professor, but she does minimal research (does not verify the information given to her by Lilth).  She is working without all the facts and Jaya jumps to wrong conclusions (several times).  Jaya should be keeping her search a secret (so she can discover it, get the credit, and write a paper or book).  However, she seems to tell anyone she meets about it.  I give Michelangelo’s Ghost 3 out of 5 stars (just not my type of book).  The mystery may seem complex, but it can easily be solved.  The “twists” are easily discovered long before they are revealed.  Michelangelo’s Ghost is not a stand-alone novel.  I would suggest reading the first novel (at least) in the series before tackling this one (or you will be missing information).  A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series is just not for me.  The first three books in A Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery series are Artifact, Pirate Vishnu, and Quicksand.

Thank you for visiting and reading my latest review.  I am currently reading The 4th Man by Lisa Gardner.  I will be back tomorrow to tell you about this week's new releases.  I hope all of you have a delightful night. Take care and Happy Reading!

The Avid Reader

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