“properly creepy and Gothic”– Ian Rankin.
What is the Frey and McGray Series about?
Coming from Mexican-born Oscar de Muriel, a chemist, translator, and violinist who now lives and works in Manchester, the Frey and McGray series is a mystery series set in Edinburgh.
The story takes place during the Victorian era, around the end of the 1880s, and follows the investigations of legendary detective “Nine-Nails” McGray and disgraced London skeptic Inspector Ian Frey.
Launched in 2015 with “The Strings of Murder”, the Frey and McGray series is set to be concluded with “The Sign of the Devil” in 2022.
How to read The Frey and McGray Books In Order?
Every book in the Frey and McGray series works as a standalone story, but the lives of the different characters evolve from one novel to the other.
- The Strings of Murder – 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.
- The Hunt (short story) – Christmas, 1888. After a thoroughly trying time in Edinburgh, Inspector Ian Frey looks forward to a Christmas break at his family’s country estate back in England. But the welcome respite of home cooking, hunting trips, and brandy by the fire is ruined by the arrival of an unwelcome guest . . .
- A Fever of the Blood – 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 rumors about black magic be more than superstition?
- A Mask of Shadows – 1889. The Scottish Play is coming home. But before a darling couple of London theatre, Henry Irving & Ellen Terry, take their acclaimed Macbeth to the Edinburgh stage terror treads the boards. A grisly message was 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.
- The Loch of the Dead – 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, the site of an ancient burial ground. They must stay with the mysterious Koloman family – any one of whom might be a suspect.
- The Darker Arts – 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, or else Katerina will be sentenced to death. Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help.
- The Dance of the Serpents – 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.
- The Sign of the Devil – An ill-fated grave robbery unearths a corpse with a most disturbing symbol on it. The very same sign is daubed in blood on the walls of Edinburgh’s lunatic asylum, on the night that one of the patients is murdered. The mark in question? The mark of the devil. The prime suspect: Amy McGray, the asylum’s most infamous inmate, a young woman who has grown up behind bars after she killed her parents many years ago. Her brother, Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray, knows the evidence is stacked against her. To prove her innocence, he needs the help of an old friend… Inspector Ian Frey insists he is retired. But when called upon, he reluctantly agrees to their final case.
- The Falling Shroud – A wintry and ghoulish Frey & McGray poem for fans of Detective ‘Nine-Nails’ McGray and his erstwhile English sidekick, Inspector Ian Frey, in celebration of the pair’s 5th anniversary…
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