Aug. 24, 2018

Volume three in the series of McCray and Frey!

A Mask of Shadows by Oscar de Muriel

The play’s the thing…

My thanks to my contacts at Pegasus Books, Iris Blasi, Katie McGuire, and Maia Larson, for my copy of this book! Rock on!

Shakespeare’s Macbeth is fraught with superstition, to the extent that Scottish Play. Any mention of the name Macbeth by any actor inside the theater requires actions said to lift the curse.

Oscar de Muriel’s mismatched detectives have a new assignment. A banshee lurks beneath a bridge in Edinburg. The banshee seems involved with the production of Macbeth the Royal Lyceum Theater. Actor and producer legend Sir Henry Irving is currently staging the play there. The author states that the cast is genuine. All of the names were taken from a program at an actual performance.

Bram Stoker, manager for Sir Henry, frets about the safety of the cast. There have been accidents before, which left a young girl disfigured by fire. Stoker seeks help from the police. Superintendent Campbell laughs and passes on the case. He sends Stoker to Inspector “Nine Nails” McCray and Inspector Frey.

True to each man’s way of thinking, McCray believes the banshee to be real and Frey is certain that it is no such thing. Even so, it leaves messages scrawled in blood in and near the theater. They are lines from a sonnet, with prophetic promises of death and mayhem. Both mayhem and death soon follow in short order.

I enjoyed the lines that Stoker would use in his masterpiece Dracula that show up from time to time. One of them would be “The dead who travel fast" for example. Oscar Wilde also appears, adding yet another historical figure to the mix. One of Wilde’s sonnets plays a part in the mystery.

The mystery is wonderful, composed and action-filled start to finish. Danger, death, and destruction threaten on every hand. One interesting revelation comes only in the epilogue! Last minute reveals has been de Muriel’s style over the two previous books in this series, and he delivers big time! This is quite an enjoyable book!

I give it a resounding five stars plus!

Quoth the Raven…