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Oscar de Muriel

  • Original Title: FREY & MCGRAY SERIES
  • Publication date: February 2015
  • Publisher: PENGUIN GROUP
  • Country: GB
  • 378 print pages
  • Detective novel/Crime fiction


  • Epoch: Historical
  • Time Period: 19th century
  • Location setting: United Kingdom


1888. When a man is brutally murdered in suspicious circumatances Inspector Frey has fallen out of favour in the London police force, and is dispatched to Edinburgh to team up with acerbic Detective ‘Nine­Nails’ McGray to solve the mystery, which takes a supernatural turn.


Book 5, THE DARKER ARTS, to be published in August 2019.

Book 4, THE LOCK OF THE DEAD, Longlisted for the McIlvanney Scottish crime book of the year 2018

Translation rights sold: US, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, Spain (in a 2 books deal)

Pitched as "Victorian X-Files", for fans of Sherlock Holmes, The Woman in White, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher.

'A brilliant mix of horror, history, and humour. Genuinely riveting with plenty of twists, this will keep you turning the pages. It's clever, occasionally frightening and superbly written ... Everything you need in a mystery thriller' Crime Review

'Fast-paced, well-researched and thoroughly spellbinding. The mismatched pair is as entertaining as Holmes and Watson at their best' Historical Novel Society

The most interesting aspect of this novel, which reads like a pastiche of MURDERS IN THE RUE MORGUE and to some extent THE SUSPICIONS OF MR WHICHER is McGray himself, a troubled but sensitive inspector prone to violence. He almost seems like a refugee from a James Ellroy novel.

Oscar de Muriel was born in Mexico City and moved to the UK to complete his PhD. He is a chemist, translator and violinist who now lives and works in Manchester.



  1. A violinist is brutally murdered in his Edinburgh home. Fearing a national panic over a copycat Jack the Ripper, Scotland Yard sends Inspector Ian Frey. Frey reports to Detective "Nine-Nails" McGray, local legend and exact opposite of the foppish English Inspector. McGray's tragic past has driven him to superstition, but even Frey must admit that this case seems beyond belief. Inspector Frey has always been a man of reason ­- but the longer this investigation goes on, the more his grasp on reason is slipping.

Report available (Book 1)
Book 2 to 5

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