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Frey and McGray Books In Order

Publication Order of Frey & McGray Books

The Strings of Murder (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Hunt (2015) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Fever of the Blood (2016) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Mask of Shadows (2017) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The “Frey and McGray” series that is written by Oscar de Muriel is paranormal historical detective fiction. The series began in the year 2015, when “The Strings of Murder” was released. This was also Oscar de Muriel’s debut novel.

When Oscar de Muriel tried to picture a Victorian detective whose specialty was paranormal things (which he refers to as odd and ghostly, due to the fact that paranormal was not a word yet) he decided to set the series in Edinburgh. He got more excited when he paired the Scottish detective with someone from London. This allows him to talk about English versus Scottish slagging; which is something that Oscar likes to write about.

He tried writing the novel with different narrative styles (that he could not get to work) before finding Ian Frey’s voice. Frey is a snooty man that describes people and things without forgiveness. He has good reason to be upset. He goes from living in London, which is a place that he really likes, to an even damper place in the north (Scotland). His boss (who is Nine Nails McGray) is a Highlander with little regard for Victorian protocol.

Adolphus McGray (also called Nine-Nails) is missing a finger on his right hand, which was a result of an awful family tragedy. His nickname was inspired by a very ridiculous figure in Mexican history, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna. Antonio ruled Mexico here and there in the middle of the 1800s. He lost a leg in a battle and was called Quince Unas (which translates to Fifteen Nails).

“The Strings of Murder” is the first novel in the “Frey and McGray” series and was released in the year 2015. The year is 1888 and the place is Edinburgh, Scotland. A virtuoso of the violin is killed in a brutal manner. There are symbols of black magic all over the walls. His maid swears that she could hear three musicians playing right before the murder happened. There was no way in or out of the practice room, which was locked. Things make no sense. There is a panic spreading nationwide that there is another Ripper, so Scotland Yard has Inspector Ian Frey look into it. As a cover, he uses a fake department that is supposed to specialize in occult. He does not want the press to see what is going on in the case, so that a nationwide panic can be avoided. Ian’s new boss, Detective “Nine Nails” McGray, really believes such things exist. McGray’s past has led him to superstition; Frey has to admit that there are things involved in this case that go beyond reason. He believes the violinist was having dealings (of a macabre sort) with the Devil. When someone loses their reason, who knows what will go next.

Fans of the novel like the fast pace and interesting story. It is a great murder mystery that is both complex and keeps you wondering what is going to happen next. Some felt that certain moments were a tad scary to them. The novel’s setting and time have a gothic feeling to it. There is chemistry to this pairing of opposites, which is something that happens just about when these two first pair up. He is able to bring the towns he describes to life, and is able to have the bickering Frey and McGray do add to the story.

“A Fever of the Blood” is the second novel in the “Frey and McGray” series and was released in the year 2016. The first day of the year 1889. A patient escapes from a lunatic asylum in Edinburgh. At the same time, a nurse lays on the floor dying. Ian Frey and McGray lead the hunt. Right before the murder was committed, the suspect was heard whispering with another patient. They talked about a girl that was mute for years. Why is she no longer talking? And why did she break her silence to begin with? Are rumors about black magic something more than just superstition? Frey and McGray track this crazy killer way out of their jurisdiction and through the worst blizzard that has happened in a long time. They go near Pendle Hill, which is home of the witches of Lancashire. There is unimaginable danger waiting.

Fans of the novel like the way that Frey and McGray get along with each other, as they banter quite a bit. It adds to why the books are as charming as they are. There is a mix here of historical mystery and paranormal that was a nice mix. It was great to see these characters again, and how the author was able to develop them more. It was interesting, for some, the way that this novel goes in a different direction than the first one did. The main characters in the series are well drawn and developed, they feel like real people that you can see. These books are treats for readers.

“A Mask of Shadows” is the third novel in the “Frey and McGray” series and was released in the year 2017. Two big theatre actors (Ellen Terry and Henry Irving) are going to do “Macbeth” in Edinburgh. Before they can go on stage, the place is hit with horror. There is a desolate and piercing wail of what sounds like a banshee and message that has been smeared on the street, in blood. Frey and McGray are supposed to investigate what happened. McGray goes through tattered volumes of supernatural works, and Frey believes the whole thing is some kind of publicity stunt. Gory messages keep on coming in and one thing is certain. Death is coming, from a human hand or from somewhere else.

Fans of the novel found that Oscar de Muriel was able to craft yet another winning novel of mystery. Here is an atmospheric and entertaining story. McGray has charisma and is mesmerizing, which is something that comes through with his big personality, his way of dealing with things, and his family history, and his nine fingers. Frey, seems to adapt his partner’s way of doing things as his own. There is quite a bit of humor and banter to be had in the book, like all of the books.

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