The Strings of Murder Oscar de Muriel

61N8kkvC6oL._AA160_Pub: 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…

An atmospheric read, Oscar de Muriel’s prose took me to 1888, it’s dialect and description is a joy to read. The banter between McGray and Frey is funny, they both think the other to be an idiot. But they join forces and try to discover the killer of a violinist, killed while locked from the inside in his room.

Everything about this delightful, if gory, read appealed to me. The Scottish speaking took me a while to understand, and each character from the chimney sweep to Freys housekeeper made this an engaging and captivating read.

A quirky tale which tells of the occult and witchcraft, reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes type read, and the Victorian backdrop amidst the poor and dirty added to the charm of this debut by Oscar de Muriel.

4*/5

 

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