Book Review – Death on Denial by E.J. Russell

Quest Investigations #4
Publisher: Reality Optional Press
Pages: 227
Characters: Matt/Lachlan
POV: 1st
Genre: Paranormal, Detective, Series

Blurb:
DOA becomes BRB when this client goes MIA…

When I agreed to accompany my selkie boyfriend on a private boat trip, I didn’t realize the invitation included a swim. In the Pacific. In November. Naked. And I certainly didn’t expect to have our swim derailed the instant I got in the water—holy crap, that’s c-c-cold—by a literal boatload of selkie clan leaders.

Climbing out of the water in front of them—did I mention naked? Yeah, way to make a brilliant first impression. Then things get worse: I get served. Not in the metaphorical sense, either. Nope, I’m being sued.

By Death.

Well, not Death precisely, but an Ankou—a Celtic psychopomp who escorts the departed to their final destinations. This guy is miffed that his workload has increased exponentially, which he blames on my actions in Sheol on an earlier case. I’m not about to take the heat when eons of shady demon shenanigans finally come home to roost, but here at Quest Investigations, we aid any and all supernatural folk in need—especially if they’ll drop their specious lawsuits against the agency’s lone human.

When the Ankou skips out on us, though, all hell breaks loose. Because without anyone to lead them on, the dearly departed become nearly departed and stick around to party hearty. Now it’s not just the selkie leaders complicating my love life—it’s the ex-living as well.

And when one of the ex-living decides not to remain ex? Things get really complicated, not to mention deadly.

Dammit.

Death on Denial is the fourth in the Quest Investigations M/M mystery series, a spinoff of E.J. Russell’s Mythmatched paranormal rom-com story world. It contains no on-page sex or violence, and although there is a romantic subplot, it is not a romance. The series is best read in order.

Buy Link

Review

I love this series and am sad that this is the final book. The mix of mystery, humour, and paranormal is wonderful, and I’m going to miss Matt, Lachlan, and the rest of the Quest Investigations gang.

I’ve enjoyed Matt and Lachlan’s slow burn romance as part of the weird Quest Investigations cases. The final scene between them, and the twist that comes with it, was very much worth the wait. Lachlan is sweet, and I love how protective he is of Matt whose perception of the supernatural world as Quest’s only human is fun.

I liked seeing more of other Selkie in this story. They’re very determined. Yannick is fun as Slacker Death, and I liked Miss Pennypacker who is a force to be reckoned with. Jordan as usual is a highlight as he’s one of my favourite characters, although he goes through so much this time round! Doop is wonderful as usual, and I loved the addition of Noah to the mix.

I also enjoyed seeing characters from other stories in the same universe. The mystery part of the story is nicely done and I didn’t guess who the nasty escapee was until it was almost too late!

5 out of 5 stars.

About Anne Barwell

Anne Barwell lives in Wellington, New Zealand. She shares her home with a cat with “tortitude” who is convinced that the house is run to suit her; this is an ongoing “discussion,” and to date, it appears as though Kaylee may be winning. In 2008, Anne completed her conjoint BA in English Literature and Music/Bachelor of Teaching. She has worked as a music teacher, a primary school teacher, and now works in a library. She is a member of the Upper Hutt Science Fiction Club and plays violin for Hutt Valley Orchestra. She is an avid reader across a wide range of genres and a watcher of far too many TV series and movies, although it can be argued that there is no such thing as “too many.” These, of course, are best enjoyed with a decent cup of tea and further the continuing argument that the concept of “spare time” is really just a myth. She also hosts and reviews for other authors, and writes monthly blog posts for Love Bytes. She is the co-founder of the New Zealand Rainbow Romance writers, and a member of RWNZ. Anne’s books have received honorable mentions five times, reached the finals four times—one of which was for best gay book—and been a runner up in the Rainbow Awards. She has also been nominated twice in the Goodreads M/M Romance Reader’s Choice Awards—once for Best Fantasy and once for Best Historical. Anne can be found at https://annebarwell.wordpress.com
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