Erryn reviews Five Dead Herrings (Quest Investigations Book 1) by E.J. Russell. The ebook was released September 4, 2021 and is 210 pages. The audiobook was narrated by Greg Boudreaux. It was released October 21, 2022 is 5hrs and 26min. A copy was provided in exchange for an honest review.
Why I read this book: I loved the Fae out of Water series.
Something’s definitely fishy about this case….
On my last stakeout for Quest Investigations, I nearly got clotheslined by a grove of angry dryads. I expected my bosses to reprimand me, but instead they handed me my first solo assignment. Me! Matt Steinitz, the only human on the Quest roster!
Okay, so the mission isn’t exactly demanding. Obviously, the bosses wanted to give me something they think I can’t screw up. I’m determined to show them what I can do, however, so I dive right in with no complaints.
At first glance, it looks as simple as baiting a hook: A selkie’s almost-ex-husband is vandalizing his boat with unwanted deliveries of deceased sea life. All I have to do is document the scene, tell the ex to cease and desist, and present the bill for property damages. Boom. Mission accomplished, another Quest success, and as a bonus, I get to keep my job.
But then things get…complicated. Suspicious undercurrents muddy up my oh-so-easy case. Nothing is as clear as it should be. And the biggest complication? My inappropriate attraction to the client, who may not be as blameless as he claims.
Turns out those dead herrings aren’t the only things that stink about this situation.
Five Dead Herrings is the first in the Quest Investigations M/M paranormal 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.
I love the premise of the book – a detective agency for the supernatural. Oh, and they’ve hired that pesky human, Matt, who created such havoc in a previous book. I’d noted him as a secondary character, but’d never envisioned he’d get his own story. Just shows E.J.’s imagination is much better than mine.
Lachlan is a great hero – a selkie with secrets. He’s in the process of getting a divorce, but things go sideways and he winds up hiring Quest to help him solve the riddle of who is leaving stinking herrings on his boat and threatening his livelihood.
Well, Matt’s on the case. Red herrings are, in literary terms, things meant to throw the readers off the scent of solving the mystery in the book. Therefore, the herrings in this story are a bit of an inside joke but also effective – I loathe fish and so was completely empathetic to Lachlan.
Anyway, the mystery was good, the story was good, the main characters made a great couple and, most importantly this was a great way to introduce a new series – I can’t wait for the rest.
Finally – Jordan. Dear, sweet Jordan. I was thrilled to see Quest hiring him – especially after his antics in the woods. I want more of him. In fact, I want him to get his own book!
Greg Boudreaux did a fantastic job narrating and I can’t wait for more stories.
10/10 Pots of Gold (100% Recommended) – Compares to 5/5 Stars
E.J. Russell–grace, mother of three, recovering actor–writes romance in a rainbow of flavors. Count on high snark, low angst and happy endings.
Eh, not so much.
She’s married to Curmudgeonly Husband, a man who cares even less about sports than she does. Luckily, C.H. also loves to cook, or all three of their children (Lovely Daughter and Darling Sons A and would have survived on nothing but Cheerios, beef jerky, and Satsuma mandarins (the extent of E.J.’s culinary skill set).
E.J. lives in rural Oregon, enjoys visits from her wonderful adult children, and indulges in good books, red wine, and the occasional hyperbole.