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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Secret of Coffin Island is Book 4 in Robin Murphy's paranormal mystery series, Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team. Dr. Marie Bartek and her fiance, Police Chief Cory Miller, have finally tied the knot. Their wedding festivities are interrupted, however, by the discovery of a headless corpse. While criminal investigations are, strictly speaking, Cory's milieu, Marie and her team of psychic researchers have been instrumental in solving mysteries in the past, and she has already received visions that seem to pertain to the mystery at hand. Her mentor and friend, Myra, who had passed after suffering a heart attack, has continued her mentorship albeit from the other side, and Marie takes comfort from both her presence and her guidance. Marie's also been asked to help with the case of Isabella, a young woman whose mother is concerned that she's been possessed, but Marie quickly determines that Isabella is also a gifted psychic.
Robin Murphy's paranormal mystery, Secret of Coffin Island: Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team, Book 4, is an exciting and well-plotted novel. While it's the fourth book in the series, Murphy includes just enough background information to allow this book to be read on its own without giving away too much about the previous mysteries. I found myself enchanted by Sullivan Island and the ambiance of a beach community, and enjoyed the plot's historical connection to Edgar Allan Poe's The Gold Bug. The author also gives a valid working picture of a psychic investigation team at work as well as having the husband/wife team working together on the case. Secret of Coffin Island is an interesting and quite effective blend of the paranormal and the police procedural genres that works marvelously. Her main character's idea for a retreat for psychic youth is inspired and gives the series a sense of continuance, and Isabella's pivotal role in this story makes it fresh and compelling. Secret of Coffin Island: Marie Bartek and the SIPS Team, Book 4 is highly recommended.