Multiple award-winning author Gigi Pandian is one of the best locked room mystery writers working today. Her newest heroine, Tempest Raj, returns in The Raven Thief, where sliding bookcases, trick tables, and hidden reading nooks hide something much more sinister than the Secret Staircase Construction crew ever imagined.
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.
The more I read Gigi Pandian, the more she begins to secure a permanent spot on my book shelves. I adored the first in this series, and enjoyed the sophomore entry very much. Pandian gives us another very clever mystery featuring Tempest Raj, one of the most interesting characters I’ve read in a very long time. Her background as a magician combined with her family’s profession of constructing hidden rooms and staircases make this a fascinating series.
The writing is well-developed, comfortable, and uncomplicated, but the plot is as intricate as ever. We learn more about Tempest, her friends, and her family and are treated to some fascinating magic and mystery. I totally want to see this series be adapted for television!
If you enjoy this series, try Pandian’s other work, especially The Accidental Alchemist series, which features a gargoyle!
Publication Date: March 21, 2023
Published By: St. Martin’s Press; Minotaur Books
Thanks to Netgalley for the review copy