'A hugely entertaining Victorian mystery' New York Times
'I enjoyed this - properly creepy and Gothic' Ian Rankin
A spellbinding concoction of crime, history and horror - perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes and Jonathan Creek
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 . . .
'This is wonderful. A brilliant, moving, clever, lyrical book - I loved it' Manda Scott
'A great cop double-act . . . It's the pairing of the upright Frey and the unorthodox McGray that notches up the stars for this book' Sunday Sport
'A brilliant mix of horror, history, and humour. Genuinely riveting . . . with plenty of twists, this will keep you turning the pages. It's clever, occasionally frightening and superbly written - The Strings Of Murder is everything you need in a mystery thriller' Crime Review
Sherlock Holmes meets the X-Files in de Muriel's standout debut, a creepy and atmospheric whodunit set in 1888. Scotland Yarder Ian Frey's career appears to be over when his mentor, Commissioner Sir Charles Warren, is forced from office by Lord Salisbury, the British prime minister, after Frey's failure to apprehend Jack the Ripper. Then Frey gets an unexpected reprieve from Salisbury, who appears in his rooms and asks him to travel to Edinburgh to probe the murder of Guilleum Fontaine, a virtuoso violinist. The prime minister is concerned that Fontaine's death will spark fears that the Ripper has inspired imitators poised to strike all over Great Britain. Frey's presence in Scotland is to be explained by his ostensible assignment to a special police unit that investigates ghosts and goblins, headed by the eccentric Inspector McGray, known as Nine-Nails. Frey and McGray quickly develop an uncomfortable working relationship, premised on trading insults, as they look into the grisly and puzzling murder. Fontaine was eviscerated in a locked room the same day he was heard playing an eerie melody popularly attributed to the devil. De Muriel matches the intricate mystery with a clever solution.