Oscar De Muriel

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Oscar De Muriel is a novelist, translator, violinist and chemical engineer. He was born in Mexico City, where he began writing stories aged seven, and later came to the UK to complete a PhD in chemistry. He is the author of the Frey & McGray mysteries – The Strings of Murder, A Fever of the Blood, A Mask of Shadows, The Loch of the Dead, The Darker Arts and The Dance of the Serpents – and of the Muerte en San Jerónimo series, currently being translated into English.

He currently splits his time between the north west of England and Mexico.

Fiction

Publication DetailsNotes
2020

Orion

December, 1889. There have been many bad days in Edinburgh police's secret subdivision 'The Commission for the Elucidation of Unsolved Cases Presumably Related to the Odd and Ghostly'. But today is surely the worst. Because the exiled English Inspector Ian Frey, and his Scottish boss 'Nine-Nails' McGray are summoned to a meeting in the middle of the night with the Prime Minister himself. And he tells them that Queen Victoria - the most powerful person in the world - wants them both dead. To be pardoned they must embark on a mission so dangerous that they might be saving Her Majesty the job of executing them. Because this case ties together the dark history of the Pendle witches, with the tragic case of McGray own sister, to a conspiracy within the highest office in the land...

2019

Orion

Madame Katerina, Detective 'Nine Nails' McGray's most trusted clairvoyant, hosts a séance for three of Edinburgh's wealthiest families. The following morning everyone is found dead, with Madame Katerina being the only survivor. When questioned she alleges a tormented spirit killed the families for revenge. McGray, even though he believes her, must find a rational explanation that holds up in court, else Katerina will be sentenced to death. Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help, which turns out to be difficult as he is still dealing with the loss of his uncle, and has developed a form of post-traumatic stress (not yet identified in the 19th century). This seems an impossible puzzle. Either something truly supernatural has occurred - or a fiendishly clever plot is covering a killer's tracks...

2018

Penguin

The Scottish Highlands, 1889. When a young heir receives a sinister death threat, Inspectors Frey and 'Nine-Nails' McGray answer a desperate plea to offer him protection. The detectives travel north to the remote and misty Loch Maree, site of an ancient burial ground. They must stay with the mysterious Koloman family - any one of whom might be a suspect. But Frey and McGray have little time to get their bearings. Even before they arrive the boy's guardian is brutally murdered, and one thing becomes clear to the two detectives: Someone is willing to kill to protect the secrets of Loch Maree.

2017

Penguin

1889. The Scottish Play is coming home. But before the darling couple of London theatre, Henry Irving & Ellen Terry, take their acclaimed Macbeth to the Edinburgh stage terror treads the boards. A grisly message found smeared across the cobbles in blood, foretelling someone's demise. As the bloody prophecies continue to appear Edinburgh's own beloved pair - Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray & Inspector Ian Frey - enter the scene. Frey scoffs at this blatant publicity stunt, while McGray is convinced of supernatural affairs. As they scrutinise the key players, they discover that Terry, Irving, and his peculiar, preoccupied assistant (one Bram Stoker) all have reasons to kill, or be killed... But one thing is clear. By occult curse or human hand, death will take bow the night the curtain rises.

2016

Penguin

New Year's Day, 1889. In Edinburgh's lunatic asylum, a patient escapes as a nurse lays dying. Leading the manhunt are legendary local Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray and Londoner-in-exile Inspector Ian Frey. Before the murder, the suspect was heard in whispered conversation with a fellow patient - a girl who had been mute for years. What made her suddenly break her silence? And why won't she talk again? Could the rumours about black magic be more than superstition? McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill - home of the Lancashire witches - where unimaginable danger awaits...

2015

Penguin

Edinburgh, 1888. A violinist is murdered in his home. The dead virtuoso's maid swears she heard three musicians playing in the night. But with only one body in the locked practice room - and no way in or out - the case makes no sense. Fearing a national panic over another Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey to investigate under the cover of a fake department specializing in the occult. However, Frey's new boss, Detective 'Nine-Nails' McGray, actually believes in such supernatural nonsense. McGray's tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next...