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Oscar de Muriel 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

Born in 1983, in the building that now hosts Ripley’s Believe it or Not Museum, Oscar De Muriel attempted at writing stories at the tender age of seven. The story was about triceratops and stegosaurus battling a starved T-Rex. It only took three pages and ten long lines for young Muriel to illustrate the adventure. After a few attempts, He finally managed to put together a few decent novels in different genres before settling on writing historical fiction.

Muriel made a breakthrough as an author after leaving his home in Mexico City and traveled to Manchester, in the United Kingdom to complete a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering. After a series of events, he ended up working at a water treatment company in Lancashire before he finally figured how to use his background in chemistry to create interesting stories. After several trips to Edinburgh, Muriel found it to be the perfect setting for a crime mystery, and there the idea of Nine-Nails McGray came to mind as he enjoyed a meal with some friends. The McGray story was therefore born, and the author hoped that it would be the first of several other books that featured the character.

Already armed with a story and concept, Muriel began hunting for a literary agent, and Maggie Hanbury came to his rescue by lending a professional hand. The author who also plays the violin has always wished to write a story about the Devil’s Sonata, and as fate would have it, McGray’s first case fit perfectly. The Nine-Nail’ McGray series, also features Inspector Ian Frey who although different from the detective is supposed to work alongside him. Detective McGray is passed off as a scruffy, unconventional Scott with a terrible past that has him fixated with the occult while Frey is a snobbish upper-class Londoner that is smart and has a taste for good things such as suits and cigars.

Although uncertain of how many books the Nine-Nails series will include, the author considers having nine books to be ideal. In an interview, he confessed to already having plotted the nine cases he hoped to include but was careful to mention that it may not end at that. There are two books featured in the series; the debut novel The Strings of Murder and the second book A Fever of the Blood. Both books feature the Victorian Edinburgh setting with its weather, landscapes, music, history and unique architecture. The books are also narrated from Frey’s perspective to give them more of the Victorian touch.

In his writing career, Oscar De Muriel looks up to Stephen King, whom he greatly respects as well as admirers. He is fascinated by King’s ability to produce book after book in his 40 years career so far and still not show any sign of stopping soon. The writer hopes to develop more on his current series and give readers more of the unusual relationship between the two leading characters with their English Vs Scottish slandering while taking readers deeper into the world of crime thrilling mysteries.

The Strings of Murder (2015)

While many would expect that the Mexican-born author would introduce a Holmesian-style mystery because of his Latin American setting, Muriel instead opted to set his story in Scotland. Muriel holds Scotland is special regard and wanted to see it being explored more in crime novels, and thus the decision to use it for the book. This debut book is set in the 17th C and is marked with detailed and vivid characters that spin the story with powerful emotions to reveal many surprises. It is in this book that we are introduced to Inspector Frey and Detective McGray who is a mismatched pair that has to work together despite their differences.

It is 1888, and London turns to a state of chaos with the Jack Ripper slayings that are happening. Inspector Frey and other detectives are tasked with solving the case, but things become even more twisted when he is called to Edinburgh to solve another crime that is thought to be a copycat killing of the Ripper murders. The inspector reluctantly reports to his new workstation, and there he is teamed up with Detective Adolphus ‘Nine Nails’ McGray, who leads a top-secret department that deals with occults.

The relationship between Frey and McGray is one of indifference and filled with some uncomfortable moments. The story races across their complicated relationship and not forgetting their agenda to solve the crimes at hand. The duo has to solve the murder of Guilleum Fontaine, a Virtuoso violinist who is believed to be a victim of the Ripper imitators. Fontaine was found disemboweled in a locked room the same day he was heard playing a strange melody often associated with the devil. Therefore, it is up to Muriel to bring in his occult expertise and for Frey to use his detective skills to hunt down the killer before he strikes again.

A Fever of the Blood (2016)

Once again, Frey and McGray find themselves working side by side, as they chase a patient that escaped a lunatic asylum in Edinburgh. The patient fled leaving a nurse dying, and it is believed that he had poisoned the nurse with strychnine. Prior to the killing, the suspect was in a whispered chat with a fellow patient, a young girl who had been silent for years. This makes an interesting twist to the plot raising the question as to what could have made the girl suddenly break her silence. It gets even more mysterious when the girl will not talk again after that.

Old conspiracy tales start to rise, and the duo has to consider whether there is truth in the rumors about black magic. The chase for the patient starts in Edinburgh and ends on the bleak moorland of Pendle Hill, which is the abominablehome of the real-life Lancashire necromancers who were executed in the 17th Century. The character development and the setting of this book adds to its suspenseful plot and brings readers head to head with creepy questions as to the existence of occult powers.

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