Matt Steinetz, A.K.A Hugh Mann, has finally gotten his boyfriend all to himself. Well, sort of. Because they keep getting interrupted before taking things to the next level. The latest interruption by a contingent of selkies is more annoying than most, but Lachlan is their king after all, so he needs to deal with them. Except while he is handling the problem, Matt gets served. He’s being sued, by none other than Death, no less.
Well, not quite Death. An Ankou is blaming Matt for the sudden influx of souls who won’t leave the Ankou alone. After what happened in Sheol, when Matt rescued Herne, the Ankou feels Matt’s actions resulted in too much work for him. But Matt is more concerned with the fact that the souls the Ankou is not dealing with are causing havoc in the mortal realm.
Things go from bad to worse when a doctor at St. Stupid dies, and Wash is almost possessed. The mystery goes even deeper, and Matt and his team are called into investigate. And it certainly doesn’t help that Matt has to sort out things with Lachlan, after the selkies ambush them and they accidentally get selkie married. Matt can’t focus on that, and the lack of consent there, at the moment. Not when possession is on the table, the Ankou has gone missing, and Matt has to do whatever he can to fix this before more people die. Only then can he finally have necessary conversations with Lachlan and finally get the HEA they deserve.
Death on Denial is the fourth book in the Quest Investigations series and, as always, it works best when read in order. Parts of it build on storylines from earlier books, and everything comes to a nice conclusion. I believe this is the last book planned for this particular series, but it also seems like there’s a possibility for more spin offs in the future. This series is also part of Russell’s larger Mythmatched Universe, and I really enjoy the way it all ties together. Though not necessary, if you’ve read other books in the universe, you’ll see some cameos from other stories.
As with others in the series, this book is focused on the mystery and the romance is the B plot line. However, the two storylines are a little more equal in this book than with the previous ones. Matt is dealing with the selkies and with what being Lachlan’s mate means, and it takes up almost as much page time as the bigger mystery Matt needs to solve. I really liked the way the author tied in characters and plot points from earlier books. It worked well to push this narrative along, while not feeling like an “easy fix.” So this one worked really well in that regard.
As always, I was really enamored of the characters. Not only Matt, from whose first person POV we get this entire series, but the secondary characters as well. Many of them have had their own books in previous series in the universe, so it’s really nice to see them and see their continued growth and engagement with the stories. The author does a really great job of continuing character growth with each book, even if it’s in a small way with the secondary characters. But Matt in particular really has made huge strides. He’s more comfortable in the world, as the lone human surrounded by supernatural creatures, and he’s really found his place, forged relationships, and made a name for himself. On top of that, his relationship with Lachlan gets to a really good place, conversations happen that need to happen, and everything ends on a really great note. Not to mention, one character gets the comeuppance I felt they deserved and was incredibly happy to see.
All in all, I’m a fan of the universe this author has created, and I really enjoyed this series. This book caps it all nicely by giving us a satisfying conclusion. This series is an easy recommendation from me, especially if you like quirky characters, interesting world building, and supernatural stories.