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One murder. Four impossibilities. A fake séance hides a very real crime.
Tempest Raj returns in locked-room mystery The Raven Thief, where sliding bookcases, trick tables, and hidden reading nooks hide a sinister puzzle. Secret Staircase Construction just finished their first project with Tempest officially a part of the team―a classic mystery novel-themed home interior. The housewarming party is all lighthearted fun until a real dead body crashes the mock séance.

“A true standout. . . Pandian has done it again: The Raven Thief conjures up the perfect balance of magic, mystery, and mayhem. I couldn’t stop reading!” —New York Times bestselling author Juliet Blackwell

“An enchanting locked room mystery with a delightfully unique premise.” —USA Today bestselling author Elle Cosimano

Gigi Pandian recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, THE RAVEN THIEF.

What attracts you to this book’s genre?

THE RAVEN THIEF is a locked room mystery, aka an impossible crime novel. I love this genre because with an impossible crime, there isn’t only of WHOdunnit to solve, but also HOW. It’s the ultimate puzzle.

Gigi Pandian

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

THE RAVEN THIEF features a murder with not one impossibility, but FOUR.
Long before I began writing my own locked room mysteries, I was a big fan of them. When I started writing in the genre myself, I started small, with a short story. I slowly got more confident in the genre, and all of my Secret Staircase Mysteries feature an impossible crime plot element. With THE RAVEN THIEF, I went even further, creating four ways in which the mystery looks impossible.

What authors or books have influenced your career as a writer, and why?

John Dickson Carr is the author who most influenced my Secret Staircase Mystery Series. He showed that it’s not simply the puzzle that makes an impossible crime story compelling, but instead he created a spooky, atmospheric backdrop that made it look as if the only solution was a supernatural one—before revealing the rational explanation at the end.
When a crime looks impossible, it appears to be the work of a ghost who walks through walls or a curse that conjured a gun out of a sealed room. In other words: the best impossible crimes give you a creepy ghost story and along with a satisfying rational explanation at the end.


Gigi Pandian is a USA Today bestselling and award-winning mystery author, breast cancer survivor, and accidental almost-vegan. The child of cultural anthropologists from New Mexico and the southern tip of India, she spent her childhood being dragged around the world on their research trips and now lives outside San Francisco. She writes the Secret Staircase mysteries, Accidental Alchemist mysteries, and Jaya Jones Treasure Hunt mysteries. She’s been awarded Agatha, Anthony, Lefty, and Derringer awards, and is a co-founder of Crime Writers of Color.

To learn more about the author and her work, please visit her website.

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