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 rumours about black magic be more than superstition?McGray and Frey track a devious psychopath far beyond their jurisdiction, through the worst blizzard in living memory, into the shadow of Pendle Hill—home of the Lancashire witches—where unimaginable danger awaits.
Oscar de Muriel is a violinist, translator, and chemist - and the author of three other novels in this popular series, The Strings of Murder, A Fever of the Blood, and A Mask of Shadows. He lives in England.
"Murder, potions, curses, an asylum, a devastating snowstorm, and late-Victorian manners and morals—all figure in de Muriel’s delicious witches’ brew of a mystery. Well-paced and suspenseful. The most impressive aspect of the novel is its detailed, vivid characters, driven by powerful emotions and full of surprises."
– Publishers Weekly (starred)
"There's a clever plot and no shortage of twists and turns, but the colorful characters are what make this novel such a pleasure. More fun than a plateful of haggis: a delightful read."
– Kirkus Reviews (starred)
"This chilling foray into insanity, vengeance, and the power of suggestion is full of nonstop action, with plenty of plot twists to keep readers guessing. Give this volume to teens who enjoy a soupçon of madness with their mysteries. Fans of Justine Larbalestier’s My Sister Rosa or Arthur Conan Doyle’s "Sherlock Holmes" tales will appreciate this one."
– School Library Journal
"A Fever of the Blood engages on its own merits in steadfast plotting, stock full of characters with hidden motivations all intriguingly connected. A brisk diversion."
– Criminal Element
"Readers will be hard-pressed to stop turning pages once the chase begins. Through his characters, the author explores the definition of insanity and its effect on families and society. Victor LaValle’s characters in The Devil in Silver likewise straddle the line between sanity and lunacy, while Alex Grecian’s The Black Country evinces a similar shocking, cold atmosphere."