Wednesday, March 22, 2023

The Raven Thief - Cozy Mystery Review

Goodreads:  The Raven Thief (A Secret Staircase Mystery #2) by Gigi Pandian

Rating: Really Liked It (4 Stars)
Source:   Publisher

Description:  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.

Genre: Mystery - Cozy

Why I Picked This Book:  I've enjoyed other books by this author and liked the first book in the series though it wasn't a favorite.

My Impression:  I really enjoyed the concept of the magicians and secret staircases in the first book but felt the execution was a bit lacking with all the different topics crammed into the book.  My fingers were crossed when I started this book and it more than exceeded my expectations.  With all the setup from the first book out of the way we could focus on Tempest and her family and friends, the intricacies of the amazing spaces her family creates, and the mystery itself.  

This mystery was especially interesting with an impossible murder in an impossible situation.  There are several intriguing side issues the investigation goes into and every single one was fascinating and kept me hooked.  There is also a series long mystery involving Tempest's mother and a family curse and seeing how this was woven into the plot was interesting.  

The characters are unique and highly specialized.  There are magicians, craftsmen, and researchers and each character brought so much to the story.  This is a fun and unusual read with a great concept and interesting if not always likable characters.

Would I Read More of this Series/Author?  Absolutely!  I will definitely be looking more from this author and will be picking up the next book in the series.

Would I Recommend this Book?  I would.  It is better if you read the first book before this one as it does explain a lot.  

* I received this book in exchange for an honest review.  As always my opinions and impressions are completely my own. *