Must Read Monday (19): The Hanged Man by P.N. Elrod & The Strings of Murder by Oscar de Muriel

Happy Thanksgiving!

Welcome to another edition of Must Read Monday! This feature is where I spotlight current and/or upcoming releases I am looking forward to. The lists will include all genres I like to read, everything from picture books to comics, children’s lit to adult fiction!

This week’s focus is all on mystery and suspense. The first featured title, from P.N. Elrod, is a Victorian-era mystery with darker elements of the supernatural and intriguingly described characters. The second featured title, from Oscar de Muriel, sounds so shadowy and suspenseful; a nineteenth century crime fiction title that seems like it might hold appeal for those readers like myself who get lost the fictional detective worlds of Sherlock, Ripper Street or The Bletchley Circle.

thehangedman23245584The Hanged Man (Her Majesty’s Psychic Service #1) by P.N. Elrod
Publication: May 19, 2015 by Tor Books

On a freezing Christmas Eve in 1879, a forensic psychic reader is summoned from her Baker Street lodgings to the scene of a questionable death. Alexandrina Victoria Pendlebury (named after her godmother, the current Queen of England) is adamant that the death in question is a magically compromised murder and not a suicide, as the police had assumed, after the shocking revelation contained by the body in question, Alex must put her personal loss aside to uncover the deeper issues at stake, before more bodies turn up.

Turning to some choice allies–the handsome, prescient Lieutenant Brooks, the brilliant, enigmatic Lord Desmond, and her rapscallion cousin James–Alex will have to marshal all of her magical and mental acumen to save Queen and Country from a shadowy threat. Our singular heroine is caught up in this rousing gaslamp adventure of cloaked assassins, meddlesome family, and dark magic.

stringofmurder23257059The Strings of Murder (Frey & McGray #1) by Oscar de Muriel
Publication: February 12, 2015 by Penguin

Edinburgh, 1888. A virtuoso violinist is brutally killed in his home. Black magic symbols cover the walls. The dead man’s maid swears she heard three musicians playing before the murder.

But with no way in or out of the locked practice room, the puzzle 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 that this case seems beyond reason. And once someone loses all reason, who knows what they will lose next…

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