• Under Lock & Skeleton Key

  • A Secret Staircase Mystery
  • By: Gigi Pandian
  • Narrated by: Soneela Nankani
  • Length: 9 hrs and 45 mins
  • 4.4 out of 5 stars (100 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Known for her wonderfully addictive characters, multiple award-winning author Gigi Pandian introduces her newest heroine in this heartfelt series debut. Under Lock & Skeleton Key layers stunning architecture with mouthwatering food in an ode to classic locked-room mysteries that will leave listeners enchanted.

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.

©2022 Gigi Pandian (P)2022 Macmillan Audio

What listeners say about Under Lock & Skeleton Key

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Great mystery lose the soul searching

Although I always enjoy Gigi Pandian’s work, I found it hard to root for a character who was introduced in a previous work as a not nice awful person. I enjoyed the mystery & all the twists, I just wish the author had introduced a new character. There, also, was a little more introspective soul searching than I like.

1 person found this helpful

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Good book, boring narrator

murder, murder-investigation, illusionists, curse, cultural-heritage, family-dynamics, friendship, secrets, California, recipes, sabotage, small-business, small-town*****
Original print review August 25,2021
The Secret Staircase is a niche construction company run by Tempest's father born in India (mother
born in Scotland disappeared five years ago). Tempest Raj was highly paid as an illusionist/magician in Las Vegas until an illusion gone wrong nearly killed her and destroyed the venue. Now she is back home to her father, grandparents, and friends in their very unusual home. It's a tree house! She was told that she lives under a curse and that her mother was a Selkie. All she knows is that the day that she went to the new job site with her dad she met a lonely little boy and also found the body of her recent stunt double. Unravelling the mysteries is a real challenge and there are so many red herrings and... But no spoilers! It's a great story written with full homage to many of the old masters of the locked room genre! Can't wait to get my own copy (probably an audio so it doesn't walk away).
I requested and received a free temporary ebook copy from St Martin's Press/Minotaur via NetGalley. Thank you!
Now that I have the audio I am in a position to tell that the TTS reader was better.

1 person found this helpful

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what!!!

ok there better be another book in the works BECAUSE im left with all kinds of unacceptable unanswered questions and i want answers lol!! loved the book but still i feel like there should of been more and I'm frustrated now lol

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Gigi Pandian's new series

Gigi's new hero is Tempest. A talented Magician who is facing a setback and reevaluating her career after a near death event. Overall, this is a great start to the series. The plot was well done and did suffer from slow stops. Still the characters were developed and provided insight. Narration bought the characters to life. I look forward to the 2nd book in the series.

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Don’t listen at regular speed!

Fantastic start to a new series. I love all of Gigi Pandian’s other books and have read/listened to each multiple times. This follows more of the Jaya Jones style (sharing a few characters) and is not much like the Alchemy series other than some very detailed vegetarian food descriptions!

There is sadly some terrible production decision on the playback speed which GREATLY distorts the narration. I listened at .9X and it was less noticeable but still a bit odd. I’ve listened to the narrator before and was surprised at how horrible (nearly unbearable) this was at first. Give it a shot at a slower playback—it’s a great title and well read if heard as intended. If not, the inflictions and speech are really off and it feels like Siri or Alexa narrating with some awful attempts at accents.

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It didn’t do it for me, but well-written, narrated and good who-fun it

I love her Gargoyle series, but just not getting into this one!! Gave it a HUGE Benetton of the doubt listened through 3/4 of it!! Now I give up.

I still gave it a good review. It just wasn’t “me””.”

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Under lock & skeleton key

Where is the normal narrator? She was amazing made the story come alive! Very disappointed

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disappointing

The story is just not up to the standard it aspires to reach. The writing is predictable and mostly boring, but what really brings it down is the narrator. Terrible.

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Another Hit!

I was skeptical when I realized this book didn't have some of my favorite characters in from previous series. it was a pleasant surprised when Sanjay appeared but this new series has a charm all its own. I loved it!

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Gigi has done it again

I have listened to every one of Gigi Pandians books at least 2x and adore them all. the characters though simple are well detailed and interconnected and that's what makes the mystery so good. each person seems like they could be hiding a meaningful secret or should know something they don't. throughout this book I switched suspects multiple times but the twists in details kept coming but not overwhelmingly so. it's well paced and evenly drawn out so your hooked the whole time. my only minor complaint was the narration. it was done well but at times the accents were lacking and you missed the Scottish lilt in some areas, but overall the different voices and characters were easily distinguishable and her voice was nice to listen to.

ps I increase the speed to 1.20x to sound more conversational than narrative, if that makes sense, and I think this plays a role in how narrators are judged as boring or slow. the regular speed of narration is often a touch slower than how people general speak and it takes something away from many books in my experience. I do the same with samples now that it's an option and it's changed helped tremendously