(or at least, that's what I like to think)
This is the second book of the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries by Gyles Brandreth, writer, broadcaster, former MP and Government Whip – and one of Britain’s most sought-after award ceremony hosts and after-dinner speakers.
This historical murder mystery narrated in first person tense by the supposed voice of Robert Sherard* is set in London, 1892 when Wilde is enjoying the enormous success of his play Lady Windermere’s Fan. One night, while he is dining with his friends, the brilliant author decides to conjure up a game called murder, which begs the question: Who would you kill, if you had no chance of being caught? While all the guests proceed to write the names of their “victims” on pieces of paper and choose them one by one to try to guess which one belongs to whom, the next day the game takes a sinister turn when one of the names becomes a real victim of murder. Knowing that a murderer is among their party, Wilde, Sherard and their partner in crime Arthur Conan Doyle begin a race against time to find the killer, knowing that Wilde may as well be his next victim.
Gyles Brandeth offers more than four hundred pages of entertaining, amusing and richly atmospheric mystery, mixed with the perfect amount of historical facts and references, and a very interesting and funny portrait of Wilde and the other historical characters through enjoyable dialogue and action. As an extra material, the reader will find an exclusive walking guide to “Wilde’s London” and an interview with the author at the end of the novel as well.
Although the end may not be the best part of the novel, this doesn’t spoil the fun of the ride at all. Oscar Wilde and the ring of death is an intelligent mystery novel with such a compelling presentation of Wilde that makes him almost addictive to the reader, sparkling dialogue and London scenery and ambiance that would delight any Victorian lover.
*Robert Sherard (1861-1943). Author and journalist, great-grandson of poet William Wordsworth, lived in France most of his life where he cultivated the acquaintance of various leading authors like Zola, Maupassant or Wilde, with whom he became a long-life friend. He published 33 books, which include the first three biographical studies of Wild after his death.
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