Jun. 3, 2017

Ian Frey and Adolphus “Nine Nails” McGray volume II!

A Fever in the Blood by Oscar de Muriel

My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my advance reading copy of this book. You ladies rock!

I am not trying to create spoilers, but people often appreciate a warning nevertheless…

The book begins with a historical reference to the execution of six witches in 1624. The women were hanged on Halloween, made even weirder by the date falling on the night of the new moon. During their execution the witches pronounce a curse upon the descendants of Lord Ambrose, the man who had sentenced them to hang.

In modern times, the family now goes by the surname of Ardglass. Lady Ardglass is a cruel woman. Now an alcoholic widow, she forces Doctor Clouston to sign a binding agreement to never divulge that her son, Lord Joel Ardglass has gone insane. To protect the man’s health, Clouston agrees to the terms, and Lord Ardglass becomes a patient in the local Asylum. To the outside world, Lady Ardglass reports that her son is dead…

McGray’s sister also becomes a patient at the Asylum. On that fateful night, McGray’s father having died, Lady Ardglass is cold-hearted enough to try to repossess McGray’s father’s land. Only the threat of exposure by Dr. Clouston sends the Ardglass clan away…

Now there has been murder inside the Asylum. The victim is a nurse. The murderer is Lord Joel Ardglass! Frey and McGray are stunned to hear that Lord Joel is even alive! Ardglass was said to talk to Pansy McGray before escaping. Yet Pansy has said nothing for as long as she has been at the Asylum…

This is a tale of madness and witches that would have made an excellent movie! Much like Oscar de Muriel’s first volume, The Strings of Murder, one is reminded of the X-Files. There are charms, potions, spells, hidden bodies, poison and the specter of madness over them all!

The curse on the Ardglass family stated that the family line would end in the thirteenth generation from the time of the witches’ execution. Lord Joel Ardglass has a daughter, Lady Caroline. She is generation thirteen. But what has sent a madman on a mission that required the death of a nurse and a destructive war?

The tale never loses its frantic pace as Frey and McGray battle the weather, the search for Lord Ardglass, the witches, and each other! Frey thinks McGray should recuse himself from the case, as he has a personal stake in the matter. McGray wants desperately to know what his sister said to Ardglass. McGray is still of the opinion that the Inspector from London is too soft to deal with Scottish crime.

Lit by green flames, shrouded in snowstorms, and packed with action the story will hold you fascinated until the end! I loved it!

I give the story five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…

Buy It Here>