The Ninja's Illusion (Jaya Jones/Treasure Hunt)
by Gigi Pandian
Review by Gayle Surrette
Henery Press Paperback ISBN/ITEM#: 9781635112511
Date: 03 October 2017 List Price $15.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK
The Ninja's Illusion by Gigi Pandian is the fifth Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt Mystery. This time Jaya's magician friend Sanjay Rai, the Hindi Houdini, has been asked by the famous Japanese magician Akira to be part of his live television re-enactment of the impossible illusion, the Indian Rope Trick.
Sanjay has asked Jaya to come to see the show as he's allowed an assistant and, since he doesn't have one, she can have the assistant's hotel room.
Jaya wants to support Sanjay as this is a big opportunity for him since the fire that destroyed his equipment and theater. Besides, she's had a request from Professor Nakamura to help him as he tries to gather information regarding a Dutchman and a ship that may have carried treasure to Japan when foreigners were restricted to the island of Dejima. First they need to track down the ship he may have arrived on.
Before she manages to leave for the airport, Sanjay calls, sounding upset and begs her not to come to Japan as it's too dangerous. The call is cut off before she can find out what is wrong. She decides to go anyway because Sanjay must be in trouble.
As with previous books in this series, the historical elements are informative, further the plot seamlessly, and add tension and excitement to the story. I always learn things I didn't know and find that I'm entertained and increase my knowledge. In this case, there is information about the history, or lack thereof, of the Indian Rope Trick, Japanese magic, Japanese culture, and how foreigners were handled during the time Japan was keeping a tight control of its borders to avoid contamination by foreigners.
There's danger, suspense, romance, betrayal, and trickery, magic, and history. The plot is convoluted and the action enough to keep the pages turning. I truly enjoy these mysteries and if you’ve never read any of them you can jump in at any point and pick up on the continuing characters.