Friday, March 31, 2023

The Raven Thief - A Review


THE RAVEN THIEF by Gigi Pandian
The Second Secret Staircase Mystery

Finished with her philandering has-been of a husband Lavinia has not only divorced him, she’s hired Tempest Raj and the Secret Staircase Construction Company to convert his office into a magical space of her own. To celebrate the renovation Lavinia decides to throw a party having convinced Sanjay, the Hindu Houdini, to hold a fake séance to banish Corbin Colt once and for all. Tempest gives a small group a tour of the new space before the séance begins, then, with everyone joining hands, the scene is set. Just as the call comes to rid Corbin from the space evermore his body comes crashing down onto the table. Murdered. But how? When her grandfather becomes the prime suspect Tempest knows she has no choice but to solve the impossible crime.

Locked room mysteries are a thinking person's genre and with four impossibilities the murder of Corbin Colt is a complex cerebral puzzle to solve. The plot of the second Secret Staircase Mystery is ingenious, especially in how it ties in Tempest's own family mystery to the current murder. I enjoyed seeing Tempest unravel the disparate clues and find the truth-that the crime was not impossible, merely extraordinarily complex.

One of my favorite things about the Secret Staircase Mysteries is the constructions they devise. From the unique home of Tempest and her family to Lavinia's new space, they are dreams made into concrete reality. Another gripping aspect to the series is the characters. The secrets, the drama, the relationships, and the food so willingly shared. Like almost everyone, I adore Grandpa Ash and only wish I could avail myself of his temping fare-I'll have a vada donut...and a cardamom scone with blackberry jam...and...

Filled with surprises THE RAVEN THIEF gives readers a cerebral workout while engaging their imaginations. The mysterious family history, dare I say curse, will keep you enthralled and eager to see what will be revealed next.

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