This book was a fabulous conclusion to the over-arching mystery that took place over the course of this trilogy. However, it was almost a shame that this book had to take place at the end. I think it can be read as a stand-alone, because what makes this book so important isn’t the conclusion of the mystery, but the characters it focuses on.
Hints about Pen and Mark were already revealed in the previous books, so this isn’t spoiler territory. Mark is a disabled character, born with only one arm. Pen is genderqueer, with fluid body dysmorphia that forces him to adapt to either masculine or feminine traits as he feels most comfortable (the character uses male pronouns in the text). In addition, Mark is pretty obviously pansexual, and his desire for Pen never waivers regardless of how Pen feels that day or even moment to moment.
The plot of this trilogy was fantastic, and all loose ends were tied up with satisfying conclusion. But it was the characters in all of these books who I came to care for the most. I’d especially love to see the further adventures of Braglewicz & Lazarus: Private Enquiry Agents, especially if it mean that I got more Nathaniel and Pen (and Greta!) out of the bargain.
I highly recommend this series, especially as vacation reading when you want three novels back-to-back that are perfect for losing yourself in.