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The Raven Thief

Gigi Pandian delivers an entertaining and well-written locked room mystery!

I was so excited to get the chance to review this second book in Pandian's clever and utterly unique Secret Staircase Mysteries, as I really enjoyed the first one. And I liked this one even more!

Stage magician Tempest Raj has officially joined the family business, a specialty construction company that builds rooms with whimsical details like secret doors, sliding bookcases, hidden nooks, etc. They have just completed a fabulous space inspired by classic mystery novels for a client going through a divorce. To celebrate, the client holds a pretend seance to rid the room of her cheating former spouse's vibes when his dead body unexpectedly appears at the party. Tempest's grandfather ends up the prime suspect, so she jumps into action to clear his name.

Pandian writes an engaging and very well-crafted contemporary locked-room mystery. She hooked me right from the start with vivid imagery, a plot full of twists, red herrings, and several impossibilities for Tempest (and readers) to puzzle out. I love Tempest and how she uses her knowledge of illusion and magic to crack this perplexing case. The ongoing storyline involving the death of Tempest's aunt and her mother's disappearance continues to reverberate, and I'm eager to see where that is headed. This is a fun, quick read with several nods to classic mystery novels and a diverse group of lovable, quirky characters. I cannot wait to see what Pandian does with this imaginative series!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press, Minotaur Books for the opportunity to review this ARC.

My steep was Moonlight in Marrakesh from Club Magic Hour. An organic green tea with ginger, spices, and mint--it tastes divine!


One murder. Four impossibilities. A fake séance hides a very real crime.

Secret Staircase Construction just finished their first project with Tempest Raj officially a part of the team—a classic mystery novel-themed home interior. Their client is now ready to celebrate her new life without her cheating ex-husband, famous mystery author Corbin Colt. First up, a party, and Tempest and Grandpa Ash are invited to the exclusive mock séance to remove any trace of Corbin from the property—for good. It's all lighthearted fun until Corbin's dead body crashes the party.

The only possible suspects are the eight people around the séance table—a circle of clasped hands that wasn't broken. Suspicion quickly falls on Grandpa Ash, the only one with actual blood on him. To prove her beloved grandfather’s innocence, Tempest must figure out what really happened—and how—or Ash will be cooking his delectable Indian and Scottish creations nevermore.

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