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Publisher's Summary

Madame Katerina, Detective 'Nine Nails' McGray's most trusted clairvoyant, hosts a séance for three of Edinburgh's wealthiest families.  

The following morning everyone is found dead, with Madame Katerina being the only survivor. When questioned she alleges a tormented spirit killed the families for revenge.  

McGray, even though he believes her, must find a rational explanation that holds up in court, else Katerina will be sentenced to death.  

Inspector Ian Frey is summoned to help, which turns out to be difficult as he is still dealing with the loss of his uncle and has developed a form of post-traumatic stress (not yet identified in the 19th century).  

This seems an impossible puzzle. Either something truly supernatural has occurred - or a fiendishly clever plot is covering a killer's tracks....

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio on our desktop site.

©2019 Oscar de Muriel (P)2019 Orion Publishing Group

What listeners say about The Darker Arts

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Absolutely adore this series

I love this series so much and this one is no exception. But it's the narration that really makes this series stand out. Narrator does an amazing job.

The whole thing is an utter delight and also strangely moving at times.

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An excellent listen

Just love these characters and the narration is excellent. So inventive and entertaining. Can't wait for the next one.

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  • Ms Peach
  • 14-08-2019

Great dialogue

The dialogue is brilliantly written. It is humorous and believable. The characters are engaging. The narrator is marvelous. The story is very very slow to develop. After 12 chapters I skipped to the end. I liked the end. Very inventive.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Marina de Souza Vidal
  • 12-08-2019

Even more gripping than the previous

Another great chapter in the Frey-McGray story, this one even more gripping than the previous. It is interesting to see how trauma has affected Frey and the dynamic of his relationships. It was also nice to have a new glimpse into McGray's personal historal. I'm already looking forward to the next one.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Maths
  • 11-08-2019

Exiting, fun and very entertaining

Very entertaining , hard to stop listening.
Looking forward to the next book in the series.

7 people found this helpful

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  • James C.
  • 11-11-2019

Terrible Scottish accents

I'm Scottish and I love gothic / Victorian fiction so I was really excited to try this book, but the narrator's Scottish accents are so terrible I can't pay attention to the actual story. 20 minutes was torture. Andy Secombe has the perfect voice for gothic fiction starring English characters, but I really wish a Scottish narrator had been hired for this.

2 people found this helpful

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  • D. Dolenz
  • 15-08-2019

Wonderful series

I really enjoy this series. The newest instalment does not disappoint. The narrator is superb.

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  • Dicky
  • 15-08-2019

The best of the series so far

A ripping yarn. A locked room mystery. Humourous characters. Constantly dashing from moment to moment. I loved the narration of Mr Secomb, as usual.

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  • Paulina
  • 08-08-2019

Victorian Scots Paranormal-adjacent Crime Drama

The title says it all. Everything I need to listen through a whole book in a single day.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Wren
  • 26-02-2020

Very good book

Good addition to the series. Good pace atmosphere and characters.
Enjoyable well thought out fiction.

1 person found this helpful

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  • K
  • 04-10-2019

Exponentially drawn-out.

I am totally a fan of de Muriel and of the refreshingly irreverent McGrey and Frey partnership. In fact, I have given the previous novels rave reviews. I wanted so much to do the same here and I am glad to see that other readers have loved this instalment in the series; I'm sorry that I did not, this time.

The story starts intriguingly enough but more and more the reader is bogged down in legalities, inheritance, deeds and so many false leads that far from an interesting conundrum we are faced with a tedious bird's nest of bureaucracy. Previously, the plots have belted along at a cracking pace; this time, I often felt the itch of my trigger finger on the fast-forward button - my loyalty to the series was the only thing that stopped me.

I have noted the many readers preferred the greater 'reality' of this novel. I felt the dearth of the supernatural elements meant a considerable dimming in the excitement. Of course, the previous instalments weren't believable, who said they needed to be? The supernatural is a grey area but Oscar de Muriel's great art was throwing the reader headlong into a willing suspension of disbelief.
I will read future instalments in this series but I hope the next one is more boo than bore.

Secombe is a master of his craft and very definitely one of the best and most lively readers in the business.

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  • M. Emery
  • 27-06-2021

Witchcraft and More

Excellent story and excellent characters. Gray & McGray are off on another adventure! Worth reading.

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  • Lucy
  • 07-06-2020

fantastic series

I've really enjoyed this whole series of books. They are beautifully read, great stories and the characters are wonderful.

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  • Charlotte
  • 05-04-2020

These just get better and better!

The story’s just get better and better, the narration is sublime!! And towards the end I was on the edge of my seat to know if he makes it in time!!! If you want to know what I mean, spend that credit now, you won’t regret it I assure you!! :-)

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