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I recently picked up a mystery novel entitled The Accidental Alchemist (An Accidental Alchemist Mystery) from the library, and it was… okay. It is one of those middling, not too terrible, not super great mystery novels, of which there are an abundance. Something that interested me about this novel is that the author lives in the Bay Area, and her novel takes place in Portland (insert hippy and/or hipster jokes here).


And all of those hipster/hippy jokes are essentially valid. The “accidental” part of the title comes from the protagonist accidentally making herself immortal in a desperate attempt to save her brother (which failed). This novel is heavy on the plot, but light on the actual mystery. Full of explication and… vegan recipes.

I know, cow – I was confused, too.

Yes, you read me right. This novel is chock full of vegan recipes. I’m fairly certain there is more discussion of cooking than dead bodies & figuring out who killed them. Although there’s also a gargoyle mystery going on that stretches credulity a bit too far, but is fun, so who cares, right?


The novel is often unintentionally hilarious. For example, if gets the police entirely wrong:


wish I ran into a cop that polite after I had been speeding.

The author fairly obviously personally vents a few times:


…and the high school teacher cares about the use of the word “crap?”

3Not even “shit,” which, let’s face it, is one of the more benign curse words. “Crap.”


Not entirely unenjoyable, and if you’re a fan of mysteries that are light on the actual mystery but still heavy on plot, you should probably give it a try.

It’s a mystery where the mystery is in this mystery novel…

What was the last great mystery novel that you read?


5 thoughts on “Accidents

    theorangutanlibrarian said:
    April 15, 2016 at 6:17 pm

    Ooh that’s a great question- Shadow of the Wind- cos even though a lot of the time it didn’t feel like it, it was first and foremost a mystery- and it was a sensational book too!

    Liked by 1 person

    […] library read, about which I have already written a blog post. In summary, it was okay. Not my favorite mystery, but not absolutely […]


    2016: My Reading List « Bambi Quim said:
    December 30, 2016 at 8:34 am

    […] Blog post […]


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