“A Fever of the Blood” by Oscar De Muriel, Michael Joseph, 320 pages, paperback
I’m always looking for a new crime series, and “The Strings of Murder” struck me immediately. I enjoyed the Victorian mystery book so much that I immediately bought the second installment in the series, “A Fever of the Blood.” Although I didn’t find it quite as impressive as the first, I still enjoyed it.
Detective “Nine-Nails” McGray and Inspector Ian Frey are back, reluctantly working together again.
Frey, outcast from London, gives many reasons as to why he must remain in Scotland, at least for now, but one gets the impression that he is starting to warm to the land he claims to hate. And his partnership with McGray, though still tense, is becoming stronger as the detectives work another case together.
This one hits close to home for McGray, as they are called to the insane asylum where his sister resides. A nurse is dying, poisoned by a mental patient who is now on the run. The detective’s sister saw the man before he escaped, but the nonverbal woman can only write down a one-word cryptic message.
As the detectives track the madman across the countryside, supernatural elements keep popping up — references to witches and spells drawing McGray further in as Frey’s doubts grow. But when McGray begins to act strangely, Frey suspects something is amiss and will have to reluctantly save his partner to save the day.
I enjoyed the characters from the previous book that popped up in this one, but some of the new characters were hard to differentiate from one another. The tale got a little muddled, but was nonetheless good fun.