Book Review: Under Lock & Skeleton Key by Gigi Pandian


Title: Under Lock & Skeleton Key

By: Gig Pandian

Genre: Mystery

Pages: 343

Release Date: March 15th, 2022

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Rating: ★★★☆☆


Summary from Goodreads:

Under Lock & Skeleton Key layers architecture with mouthwatering food in an ode to classic locked-room mysteries.

An impossible crime. A family legacy. The intrigue of hidden rooms and secret staircases.

After a disastrous accident derails Tempest Raj’s career, and life, she heads back to her childhood home in California to comfort herself with her grandfather’s Indian home-cooked meals. Though she resists, every day brings her closer to the inevitable: working for her father’s company. Secret Staircase Construction specializes in bringing the magic of childhood to all by transforming clients’ homes with sliding bookcases, intricate locks, backyard treehouses, and hidden reading nooks.

When Tempest visits her dad’s latest renovation project, her former stage double is discovered dead inside a wall that’s supposedly been sealed for more than a century. Fearing she was the intended victim, it’s up to Tempest to solve this seemingly impossible crime. But as she delves further into the mystery, Tempest can’t help but wonder if the Raj family curse that’s plagued her family for generations—something she used to swear didn’t exist—has finally come for her.


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A wonderful multicultural coming of age story with so many amazing details to recount.

Tempest is an amazing character that I loved to follow through her journey. We come into the story right after Tempest was fired from her magic show in Las Vegas for performing magic tricks that were too "Dangerous" for the stage. Of course this is not true, and we find that out the more we read about Tempest and her colorful childhood.

After coming back to the massive house her parents built, her look alike and former stage double is found dead inside a wall, Tempest is bound and determined to figure out who killed her and why. Soon she realizes that her stage double wasn't the real target, just an unfortunate consequence of looking like her former boss.

Who is trying to kill Tempest and will she be able to survive until they find out?

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