Review: Five Dead Herrings (Quest Investigations #1) by E.J. Russell

Rating: 4🌈

Five Dead Herrings is the first in a new paranormal series by E. J. Russell. And like many of this author’s other series, it’s part of a connection of characters and storylines that runs or rubs up against each other constantly as they share the same foundation and universe.

Matt Steinitz, human PI and employee at Quest Investigations has turned up as a secondary character in other books, briefly referenced here. Russell now takes the time to build out Matt’s personality and let him show a depth of character not seen previously. We get the flashes of insecurities, the humor, the joy of learning, and the terror and newness of his situation.

And the start of a new romance…

There’s a mystery involving dead fish, a grumpy gorgeous Selkie, a new adorable werewolf secondary character of boundless energy , and a ton of supernatural beings from books and series we loved to get reacquainted with.

In short, it’s a whole lot of fun. And ends with one mystery solved but some major loose ends needing to be dealt with. Which will lead us straight into the second book in this series.

Quest Investigations Series:

Five Dead Herrings #1

The Hound of the Burgervilles #2


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. › showFive Dead Herrings (Quest Investigations, #1) by E.J. Russell – Goodreads

By Scattered Thoughts

At over 50, I am ruled by my terriers, my gardens, and my projects. A knack for grubbing about in the woods, making mud pies, and tending to the injured worms, bugs, and occasional bird and turtle growing up eventually led me to working for the Parks. I was a park Naturalist for over 20 years, and observing Nature and her cycles still occupy my hours. From the arrival of Ruby-throated Hummingbirds in the Spring to the first call of the Snow Geese heading south in the Fall, I am entranced by the seasons. For more about me see my bio on my blog.

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