Tempest Raj, author Gigi Pandian’s magician/sleuth, has an intriguing new locked-room mystery to solve in The Raven Thief.
Tempest is still getting used to working for her family’s business, Secret Staircase Construction, when she’s invited to a client’s home for a mock seance. Lavinia Kingsley hired the company to redo her home and erase all traces of her cheating ex-husband, mystery writer Corbin Colt. To celebrate the work’s completion and her new life as a single woman, Lavinia has a seance to purge Corbin from her life. Tempest, her grandfather Ashok “Ash” Raj and her magician friend Sanjay Rai are among the eight guests when disaster strikes. With everyone seated around a table and holding hands, Corbin’s body literally crashes the party, seemingly falling from the ceiling onto the table below.
The police deduce that Corbin was alive only moments earlier, so the only suspects are the seance attendees. When it comes to light that Grandpa Ash had a history with Corbin, Tempest’s beloved grandfather becomes the prime suspect. She and her friends quickly get to work to clear his name and find the real killer.
The Raven Thief is a worthy sequel to Under Lock & Skeleton Key, with all the magic, misdirection and intrigue that fans are hoping for. Tempest is an exciting, engaging lead whose knowledge of stagecraft, magic and classic whodunits, combined with her devotion to her family and friends, allow her to solve a seemingly impossible crime. Genre fans will appreciate Pandian’s many nods to golden age mysteries and their writers, and there are even some delectable recipes at the book’s end.