Welcome, bookwyrms, to Storytellers on Tour’s first ever escape room murder mystery!
Okay, so not quite, but wouldn’t that be cool? There’s an idea for the future :p
For the sake of keeping our minds in the moment though, welcome to my stop for Frozen Rage, Steve McHugh’s novella situated in the world of his Hellequin Chronicles.
As far as novellas go, I like them short and sweet (that’s literally what novellas are, Arina…) and this one was quite a cozy read, which is definitely something to say about a murder mystery set against a snowy landscape, but there it is.
Don’t take only my word for it though, and visit the other fantastic bloggers on the tour to see what they have to say about the book. Only two more days for this tour to end so you can binge-read them all!
Released September 15, Frozen Rage is an urban fantasy novel which mixes up crime fiction (almost noir-like), fantasy, and even historical tidbits in one bubbly cauldron of bloody murder.
Our main character, Nathanial Garrett, though he prefers to go by Nate, is a powerful, and a touch frightening, sorcerer, who is called by a friend to strengthen security at a wedding.
Needless to say, as murders start to surface, things go more Red Wedding than 27 Dresses.
Though blending those two together might result in an interesting read…But that’s a thought for another day.
I’ve quickly become a fan of fantasy murder mysteries this year, and take my pleasure from trying to figure out who the murderer is alongside the detective character in each book, as I suppose we all do.
Nate is way more perceptive than me, which I was alright with. I make a great comic relief, if I do say so myself, so being the snarky sidekick who accidentally provides the genius detective with a logical line of thought without even realizing it would probably be my strong suit.
How about you? If you were cast into this place where King Arthur exists among werewolves, would you have what it takes to solve this murder?
Find out by scrolling through this post…
Solve the Frozen Rage murder…
Welcome, detective, lovable sidekick, or femme fatale. Whichever role you choose to take on, be aware you’ve stepped into a world of snow and blood. After all, Frozen Rage takes its name from more than the icy landscape.
By deciding to pick up this novella you’ve entered the Realm of Dreich. A world where historical legends, magic, and mythology mix.
You’re to accompany Detective Nathanial Garrett, though if he’d hear you call him by his full name he’d chew your head off. With a fire blade. He’s also not really a detective but you enjoy calling him that in your head.
You were really enjoying your soup right before members of the family decided to start getting murdered. The nerve of some people.
The open bar almost didn’t make up for this mess. Almost. If not for that 400 year-old whiskey, you dare say this wedding would have been ruined.
As it is, you’ve a fiery warmth in your belly inspiring to get to the bottom of all of this needless death…If there’s one thing that doesn’t agree with a good drink, it’s corpse smell.
Stuck between a werelion and a werewolf place
You’d rather a rock and a hard place, really. At least rocks have nice edges to scratch your butt on.
Between a father and a uncle who hate one another and threaten to start the most aggressive food fight of the century, a dinner hall full with were-families ranging from deadly to deadly but more overkill, and that waiter that refuses to let you have seconds (for the seventh time), it’s only a wonder that people have waited until during dinner to start getting murdered.
Say what you will of werelions and werewolves, at least they respect meal time.
But in a room full of possible suspects, surrounded by a landscape where even more dangerous intentions lie hidden, how will you ever find your killer?
Excuse me, waiter? There’s a corpse in my orgy
As Nate leaves the dinner hall, and you’re more than ready to start gossiping with the right aunties about the latest familial drama, gruesome findings reach your ears.
A murder in the woods, red marring the snow. You never did like the color white that much but it undoubtedly looks better without someone’s guts spilled on it.
The scenery that greets you is baffling. These people should be sitting at the hall, kissing the bride and groom, throwing sideways glances at each other for something that relative said, getting proper, wedding advantage of the free buffet.
The relationship between them all, though momentarily obvious, evades you in its wider sense. How do they all connect to one assassination?
Maybe it’s time the dead start talking…
A dick in the morgue
Descending dark, creepy staircases into rooms that house dead people is just what good detectives do. Taking a necromancer and a werebear that could rid a person of their head with one swipe is just standard practice.
Nate’s not only an incredibly powerful sorcerer, he’s a man who knows how to keep good company, especially when murderers are involved.
But even a quaint stroll into a place to house the dead, to have a chat with the recently-murdered spirit of a family member (an average Sunday morning) has its perils. Go figure.
Is that a basilisk-tooth dagger in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?
Among the many action-packed fight scenes of the day, this is surely the one you’ll remember most fondly.
It’s not that you got a weird fascination with hooded men who try to stab Nate, making him increasingly more irritated, which usually leads to the type of fun fight that would put Liam Neeson out of business.
It’s that among the chaos of magical attacks, air-magic shields, fire-magic bombs, and oh my god, is that a bear in the hallway?!, another clue just joined the confusing scattering of all others.
It’s become clear now that somebody doesn’t want the secrets behind these gruesome murders to spill out….But the question remains, who?
Guess who just got murdered?!
(Yes, that heading was a necessary reference, and if you understood it, I respect you).
Because a tetra-murder isn’t enough for some people, it appears the killer has decided to scratch another square off their “Being a psychopathic lunatic” bingo card.
The scenario darkens as another family member is killed while you’re dodging daggers and bullets.
But something’s distinct about this one, something that starts to fan the embers of Nate’s inquisitive and critical fire, a slick oil to his detective engines.
Somewhere between all the mess, death, and blood lies the answer to this mystery.
Have you figured it out yet?
If all you got at this point is more confusion (and hopefully, a curiosity boost that’ll have you grabbing a copy of this novella to find out just what the hell is going on), don’t worry, we’re only halfway into the story.
One thing about Frozen Rage is that as you grow closer to the crux of this murder mystery, the mayhem, action, and magic merely intensifies.
As more dubious characters and bloodthirsty intentions join the fold, Nate and his helpful, if a bit terrifying, friends will relentlessly chase down clues.
So, what do you think? Got what it takes to help them solve this mystery?
Steve’s been writing from an early age, his first completed story was done in an English lesson. Unfortunately, after the teacher read it, he had to have a chat with the head of the year about the violent content and bad language. The follow up ‘One boy and his frog’ was less concerning to his teachers and got him an A.
It wasn’t for another decade that he would start work on a full length novel, the results of which is now available to purchase.
He was born in a small village called Mexborough, South Yorkshire, but now lives with his wife and three young daughters in Southampton.