Rating: 4.5 stars
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Matt Steinetz is still looking for his almost-boyfriend’s not-quite ex-husband, but the most recent lead doesn’t pan out the way they hoped. What’s more, when a new client graces the doors of Quest Investigations, the men in charge have uncharitable feelings and Matt is handed the case. Cerys Glynn is a lady of the lake and she’s looking for her long lost child. Matt thinks it’s a slam dunk, since she’s the very long lost mother of the Faerie King. But she doesn’t mean that child, and can’t give Matt much to go on. Not to be deterred, Matt dives in.
But of course, it isn’t easy and the twists take Matt down a road he doesn’t expect. When his case converges with his own quest, he thinks he has the answer. A little help from a demi god and he should be good to go. But of course, there’s yet another wrench thrown in the plan. Now, Matt is racing against the clock to complete his case, as well as unravel the other stumbling blocks that have come up.
Matt life is filled with trying to find the missing child, a boss who’s gone AWOL, his best friend the dryad dealing with problems more extensive than anyone thinks, and an excitable werewolf who is responsible for a hellhound. And Lachlan, his selkie almost-boyfriend, who might not be as resolute at dissolving his marriage as he’s led Matt to believe. Matt’s life is not boring, that’s for sure.
This third installment of the Quest Investigations series might be my favorite so far. This is a series that has to be read in order, and it’s part of the author’s larger Mythmatched Universe. Personally, I think having read the other books in the universe adds some extra nuance to some of the secondary plot points in this book, but objectivelym it’s not necessary to have read any of them as long as you’ve been following this series.
Russell has a knack for dropping just the right amount of humor at just the right moments to make these books a truly entertaining read and I think it’s especially well showcased in this book. As with the other books in this series, the mystery of the moment is the major plot line, and the romance takes a backseat, which the author made clear from the outset. This book’s mystery has a twist at the beginning, but the rest that follows wasn’t that surprising to me. However, it’s the execution that makes it shine, with the aforementioned humor at the right spots, in addition to endearing characters I’ve grown attached to.
Matt is an outstanding narrator character and I enjoy him immensely. He’s a human in a supernatural world, and Russell uses it to great effect to give the reader explanation without it feeling like an info dump. Besides, Matt is just so big hearted and adorable, as well as determined and hardworking, it’s easy to follow him on his journey of discovery. And in the background the romance sizzles and simmers, progressing along within the confines the characters have set.
The complex world building is well fleshed out and only expands as each new character is introduced. But the author does a great job of tying it all together and not letting it get overwhelming. This mystery hinges on some arcane mythology and the inherent issues with consent that I thought was explored well. And while, like I said, it wasn’t a great surprise to me, the conclusion was wholly satisfying for several reasons. Without spoilers, I can’t go into much, but I will say several characters get what they deserve, and it left me primed and waiting for the next book.
I’ve enjoyed this series a great deal so far, and am looking forward to the conclusion in a couple of months. Matt is a truly endearing character, and the humor is well placed for my liking. I love the complex world the author has created, and the way it expands organically to fit each book. If you’re a fan of supernatural stories, pick up the first one and get reading.