*I received a free copy of this book, with thanks to the author. The decision to review and my opinions are my own.*
Blurb: A mysterious parcel. An unsolved crime. A spell from beyond the grave.
After returning from her last strange quest, Selkie Moon is more than ready to settle down. So when she receives a parcel from her great grandmother 35 years after her death, opening it seems like such a bad idea.
But curiosity wins and the objects it contains plunge Selkie into long-buried family secrets. Suddenly an old mystery begins to echo with the present and she’s wrapped in a spell that won’t let go: frightening visions, deadly encounters and a pull from the past that she can’t ignore. What happened down by the old stone well in 1896 – and why does it matter to Selkie after more than a hundred years?
Armed with only her wits and psychic twinges that are hardly reliable, Selkie is drawn into a web of cryptic clues that delve deep into the folklore of Ireland where superstition still weaves a powerful – and fatal – spell.
If you love mysteries with lightning pace, twists and turns you never see coming, quirky clues and a sprinkling of the supernatural, then you’ll love The Third Note.
Join Selkie Moon on a quest that will threaten not only her sanity, but her life.
This, the third in the series, is my favourite Selkie Moon mystery yet.
The plot does stand alone, but I generally recommend reading this series in order as there is a wealth of detail in the character development that really enriches each shorter story arc.
Selkie is more confident in her talents and relationships in this outing than she has been in the previous books, and the result is a more adventurous, less hesitant protagonist. The turmoil is more focused on the events and situations Selkie finds herself in, rather than the spiralling pit of self doubt she has fallen into in the past.
We do dive more into Selkie’s past here; but whereas The Second Path explored Selkie’s recent family history, The Third Note delves further back into her ancestry. Unsurprisingly, murder and visions both feature – past and present.
As usual, the story is packed with puzzles, cryptic clues and symbolism for the reader to enjoy solving before, or along with, the characters. I found these elements were less densely packed than in the earlier books, which gave the story a smoother flow and mirrored Selkie’s clear mind and renewed focus.
I particularly loved the way clues and plot points were mirrored between past and present, and also between the two present-day storylines, creating an intricate symmetry that is very pleasing to an orderly-minded reader.
I’m glad that Selkie is growing into herself and starting to find more of a balance in her life and am looking forward to seeing where she travels next.
It’s not the first time Davina’s called me a detective – a spiritual detective, responsible for delving into the mysteries of the soul. It’s a role that’s clear to her and a total mystery to me, even after my other escapades and insights. It’s as if each time something amazing happens, I gain a higher understanding, then in a flash I turn back into ordinary Selkie. I remember the insights but they haven’t transformed me into a mystic.
“You’re just saying that,” I tell her, “because you want to drag me off to Ireland on another psychic goose chase.”
– Virginia King, The Third Note
Check out my review of Laying Ghosts in my Short Story Special here, my review of the folktale companion story collection Leaving Birds here, my review of The First Lie (Selkie Moon Book 1) here and The Second Path here.
The Third Note is available on Amazon right now!