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Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders Hardcover – Import, 2007

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray Publishers; First Edition edition (2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719569206
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719569203
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 8.7 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,490,852 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Le Stryge on August 21, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
DO be aware that this title has also been released under the name "Oscar Wilde and a Death of no Importance". (Probably a better title than "The Candlelight Murders", referencing as it does Wilde's famous play but confusing none the less.)
I was not aware of this fact and bought both, thinking it was another in the otherwise quite enjoyable series. I have since been informed that at least one other of the books has also been published under another name. It pays to check out the reviews BEFORE you buy, .....it seems there aren't as many in the series as it first appears, and you too could end up with unwanted duplicate copies.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Snap Dragon on August 15, 2010
Format: Paperback
For a large portion of the book, it seemed as if I was reading Oscar Wilde's own writing.. Gyles Brandreth has projected Wilde's writing so well into the character of Oscar Wilde in this book. Narrated in the first person of Robert Sherard, Oscar's friend, this book draws from Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes as well. Sherard plays Dr. Watson to Oscar's Holmes. Arthur Conan Doyle is introduced as Oscar's newly met friend, and his presence is woven into the plot as only a skillful story-teller can do.

The plot is around a young boy called Billy Woods who is found by Oscar, murdered in a candle-lit room, apparently in some sort of ritualistic sacrifice. As Oscar and Robert go about London unraveling the mystery, we are treated to some scintillating dialog - not just about the murder, but of life and love. The author naturally and effortlessly spins the threads of his story in and out of Oscar's real life - juxtaposing the murder plot which involves homosexuality, against Oscar Wilde's eventual conviction for "gross indecency with other men" [which though not part of this story, is mentioned in Robert Sherard's narrative]. The murder plot is revealed in the end by Oscar holding center stage (a la Hercule Poirot), in a room where he has invited all parties concerned - the police, the murderer, his friends who have helped his investigations along knowingly or otherwise. And what a twist to the tale in the end!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book, and will surely read the others in the series. In one word "un-put-down-able"!
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Format: Paperback
"Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders" is the first in the Oscar Wilde series. I enjoyed it so much, that I bought the next three at one time!

A young Billy Wood, a good looking artist model, a euphemism then, as it can be now, is gruesomely murdered. Wilde is wild, though at first he will vouchsafe no acquaintance with the young man, even though he found the body. He starts to investigate, drawing his friends into it with him, traveling all over Great Britain and also Paris.

The narrator is poet Robert Sherard, a real contemporary of Oscar Wilde. In his Author Questions at the back of the book, Brandreth says that he thought of Sherard as Watson to Wilde's Holmes. I thought more visually, though, and to me it felt like Sherard was as Captain Hastings is to Hercule Poirot in those wonderful BBC mysteries. In particular, Sherard keeps half-falling in love with every young lady he meets, which fits Hastings better!

I confess to wondering at a mystery with Oscar Wilde as sleuth, as my image of Wilde is as a witty but lazy dilettante. But, as Sherard relates early in the book: "The poet William Butler Yeats, a fellow Irishman, to whom Oscar introduced me that same year, wrote later of Oscar's 'hard brillilance', of his 'dominating self-possession.' Yeats recognized - as few did in Oscar's lifetime - that our friend's outward air of indolence masked an inner will that was formidable. 'He posed as an idler,' Yeats said, 'but in truth, he was a man of action. He was a leader. You followed him you knew not quite why.' "

And that's what happens to Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle (not yet a Sir, he's only published one Holmes novel) - they are drawn into investigating whether they mean to or not.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
There is nothing whatsoever wrong with this book. It arrived on time and in fine condition. The trouble is, this is a story was published in the US under another name. I was excited for it to arrive, and when it did, I was dismayed to learn that I already had it. It's on me; I should have read the blurb more closely. So I would caution anyone who reads mysteries in a series to read the description before purchasing. Once again: There was nothing wrong withe the book or with the service, so don't misunderstand me.
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