Under Lock & Skeleton Key, a review by Sherry

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Under Lock & Skeleton Key
A Secret Staircase Mystery
by Gigi Pandian

352 pages
Minotaur Books
published March 14, 2022

Amazon | Goodreads


“Anyone who has a mentor who calls himself Nicodemus the Necromancer isn’t a normal person.” 

This is such a quirky start to a new series.  There is a little bit of a mashup of genres, including a few mysteries running through the book, while reading like a cozy at times and a more serious mystery too.  There is some humor, see my earlier quote, and just a hint of romance.  I will admit at times it seems to lose it’s focus, but quickly gains it back.

There is magic, secret rooms and trap doors, Indian and Scottish culture and folklore and homage to old school mystery writers including John Dickson Carr, Edgar Allan Poe and Agatha Christie.  

Cast of characters I like.  Tons of red herrings.  Have I convinced you to give this one a try yet?  I saw the author speak tonight and she described it as Scooby Doo for adults and I love this analogy.  There is a mystery that hints at being supernatural, but is grounded in the here and now.  There is a great group of friends trying to solve the murder and while it has a gothic feel because of all of the secret rooms being built, it never gets to be too scary.

And I almost forgot to mention the fabulous cover.  it has all kinds of details from the story.  It really caught my attention.

I can’t wait for the next one and will need to go and look up the author’s backlist.  

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