Fans of true crime podcast Serial will be pleased to hear that a release date for season three has been announced – somewhat. Co-creator and executive producer Julie Snyder has reportedly revealed that new episodes will arrive in the summer of 2017. Sarah Koenig and co. have another treat in store for listeners as they will also launch a Serial spinoff podcast in Spring.

Serial soared to global popularity with the real-life murder case of Adnan Syed in season one, with its second series looking into the mystery surrounding US army sergeant Bowe Bergdahl and why he abandoned his post in Afghanistan in 2009. After months of silence about season three, Snyder shared some details about what the Serial team are currently working on during a talk at the Third Coast International Audio Festival in November.

Detailing Snyder's comments, Crime Writers On podcast host Rebecca Lavoie said in her latest episode: "It turns out we are going to get Serial season three next summer but before that in March, we're going to get a Serial spinoff."

Sharing details of this surprise Serial supplement, Lavoie added: "[It is] an untitled project scheduled to launch, it's a seven-part podcast about a man who despises the Alabama town he's lived in his entire life and tries to do something about it. It involves a murder investigation that leads to strange relationships and a hunt for hidden treasure."

Lavoie suspects that the spinoff will spark a real-time treasure hunt in Alabama as listeners follow the story each week. The Notes On A Killing author also theorises that the podcast will investigate the story of John Willie Smith, who is said to have buried $100,000 (£78,600) worth of gold before he died. According to Lavoie, it is possible that Serial creator and host Koenig will take a back seat on the spinoff and leaving the presenting duties to Starlee Kine, who has just signed on as a consulting producer for Serial's season three.

The storyline of Serial's third season are yet to be confirmed but Koenig has been spotted attending a murder trial in Ohio on several occasions. Cleveland.com reports that a man stands accused of a triple murder, which took place at the Chalk Linez Barbershop in Warrensville Heights in February 2015. The case will raise the themes of retaliatory shootings, witness intimidation and gang violence among others.

Serial's Sarah Koenig
Serial creator and host Sarah Koenig may not host the podcast's spinoff as she continues working on season three Jemal Countess/Getty Images