Under Lock and Skeleton Key
Under Lock & Skeleton Key by
Gigi Pandian is the debut of A Secret Staircase Mysteries. This is a multicultural cozy mystery. We get to meet Tempest Raj, an illusionist
along with her grandparents, father, and best friend (plus a cast of secondary
characters). Tempest has an interesting and
colorful family. I enjoyed learning
about Tempest and meeting the Raj clan. Her
mother disappeared five years prior during an act. I have to wonder what happened to her. I hope we find out in the future (could it be
part of the family curse). There are
hidden rooms, secret staircases, illusions, magic, and plenty of mouthwatering
food in this cozy mystery. There is even
a secret library. I love that Tempest’s
bedroom is hidden in her home. There are
plenty of secret spaces in the Raj family's unique dwelling (or should I say
dwellings). Tempest and her best friend,
Ivy grew up reading mysteries. The
author mentions some of my childhood favorites.
The whodunit has some clever parts. I was curious how a killer could get a dead body
in a hidden space that has seemingly not been opened in decades. Tempest
did a good job at investigating the crime.
The killer, though, was easily identified. The reveal was a little bit confusing. I had
to reread the ending to capture all the different bits. There is quite a bit of repetition in the
story. I wish it had been eliminated and
the book would have been a better length.
There are times when I felt the story is aimed at a younger audience
(Tempest is in her mid-20s). This was a
lighthearted, fun cozy mystery that has many great elements. It will be interesting to see what designs
Tempest comes up with for Secret Staircase Construction. Under Lock & Skeleton Key is magical tale
with secret staircases, a dead doppelganger, a centuries old curse, a missing
mother, a curious key, mouthwatering morsels, hypnotizing illusions, and a surprising
Under Lock & Skeleton Key is available from Amazon*. You can find Gigi Pandian's other novels here. Thank you for joining me today. Tomorrow I am featuring The Lying Club by Annie Ward. I hope that you have an enchanting day. I am off to relax. I am still recovering from my recent fibromyalgia flare up. It will give me a chance to catch up on my reading! Take care, stay safe, and Happy Reading!
*This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.