Penguin presents the unabridged downloadable audiobook edition of The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel, read by Andy Secombe, including musical interludes recorded by the author himself.
Edinburgh, 1888. A virtuoso violinist is brutally killed in his home. But with no way in or out of the locked practice room, the murder makes no sense. Fearing a national panic over a copycat 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 nonsense.
McGray's tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next...
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I have been bingeing on late Victorian murder mysteries lately. This weeks example is Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel. This story concerns disgraced young aristocratic investigator Ian Frey who is assigned to semi-barbarian Edinburgh to investigate the politically sensitive murder of a violin virtuoso. Frey is a bit of an a-hole of the snob variety given to snide comments. He is assigned to work not only with but under Inspector McGray, also an a-hole but of the thug variety given to responding to perceived insults with physical assaults. Worse, McGray is the head of an X Files like department and the clear demonic signs of the instant murder allow him free reign to his superstition, much to the annoyance of Frey. I was a music major as an undergrad and one thing that attracted me to this book is the musical connection. It seems a cursed violin may be responsible for a number of grisly death, the very violin that that Tartini (in real life) used to compose, or more accurately, to transcribe the Devil's Trill Sonata composed by the Devil himself in Tartini's dream and then owned by Paganini who (in real life) was alleged to have sold his soul to the devil in exchange for his virtuosity. Together they work to solve a grisly locked room murder.
A little heavy on the Scottish accent, made it a little difficult to understand for a hick from the sticks such as yours truly.
- Walrus Rex