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Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death: Oscar Wilde Mystery: 2 [Kindle Edition]

Gyles Brandreth
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

I see murder in this unhappy hand...' When Mrs Robinson, palmist to the Prince of Wales, reads Oscar Wilde's palm she cannot know what she has predicted. Nor can Oscar know what he has set in motion when, that same evening, he proposes a game of 'Murder' in which each of his Sunday Supper Club guests must write down those whom they would like to kill. For the fourteen 'victims' begin to die mysteriously, one by one, and in the order in which their names were drawn from the bag...With growing horror, Wilde and his confidantes Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle, realise that one of their guests that evening must be the murderer. In a race against time, Wilde will need all his powers of deduction and knowledge of human behaviour before he himself -- the thirteenth name on the list -- becomes the killer's next victim.

Product Details

  • File Size: 696 KB
  • Print Length: 448 pages
  • Publisher: John Murray (February 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003OICGE8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,011 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
"Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death" is the second in Gyles Brandreth's series of murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde as detective. It is one of the most fun books I have read this year, fueled by Mr Brandreth's impressive understanding of the Wilde witticism and the affairs of the turn of the century. It is almost like Mr Brandreth having romped through London at that time with Oscar Wilde himself, and then living to tell the tale.

In the book, Mr Wilde is the toast of London's high society. His "Lady Windermere's Fan" is a critical and box-office success, and his popularity is unmatched amongst the cognoscenti. One evening, at an exclusive "Sunday Supper Club" dinner with such friends as Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and Robert Sherard (who also narrates the story), Wilde introduces a parlor game involving a list of people that his guests would secretly like to kill. From the next day onward, each person on the "hit list" dies mysteriously, in the very order with which his or her name showed up during the dinner. Wilde, Conan Doyle, and Sherard begin to investigate independently, especially after failing to enlist the help of Scotland Yard . . . and especially since Wilde's name itself appears on the "hit list!" Their ensuing adventures are as jolly as they are thrilling.

Mr Brandreth's characters stay with you throughout the reading of the book. I like the way that he imbues beauty in every character, even those who Oscar Wilde considers "ugly" ("He is grotesque. Speak to him, Robert. I cannot") and who Robert Sherard abhors ("He was too charming, too intelligent, too well- and widely-read"). The sensual characters coexist with the virtuous, and they all stand out.

But it is in his profound knowledge of Oscar Wilde that Mr Brandreth shines.
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars second book in series December 30, 2009
Format:Hardcover
This seems to be the same book as OSCAR WILDE AND A GAME CALLED MURDER. If so, you can buy an edition of it much cheaper under that title.
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Format:Paperback
I recently discovered Gyles Brandreth's Oscar Wilde murder mystery series, and I'm hooked. This is the second in the series.

If you're looking for a fast-paced thriller, this series is not for you. But if you love intelligent writing, character-driven, with great historical detail and a more leisurely unfolding of the story, then I can highly recommend Oscar Wilde's escapades.

The story is narrated by Robert Sherard, a poet, who, in real life, was not only Oscar Wilde's friend but his first biographer. He explains why Wilde's outward-appearing indolence could hide a sharp mind: "Oscar made a fine detective because, though he was a poet, he was, also, a classicist. His way with words was elaborate and ornate, flowery and full of fanciful flourishes, but his way of thinking was precise. He was not just a spinner of fine phrases: his understanding of grammar and syntax were profound. He had a poet's imagination, a painter's eye, an actor's ear, and a scholar's nose for detail and capacity for close analysis."

Tuesday, May 10, 1892, Oscar hosts a dinner party for 13 friends at the Cadogan Hotel, London. After feasting, and drinking, they play "Murder". On a slip of paper, each person writes the name of someone, real or fictional, whom they'd like to murder. The anonymous slips are put in a hat, drawn out one by one, and the participants try to guess who authored each note.

For example, one of the dinner guests is Arthur Conan Doyle (in real life, he was a friend of Wilde's). He wrote he'd like to murder "Sherlock Holmes", because he was tired of writing Holmes' mysteries and was working on how he could kill the popular detective off. [I can recommend (4 stars!) Graham Moore's "The Sherlockian" for more fun with that.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing Murder Series May 4, 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I have found that I really enjoy historical/biographical fiction in a mystery setting. This book excelled in just that area. The reader can tell the author, Gyles Brandreth went deeply into the lives of his main characters, in this case, Oscar Wilde and his personal friends.

I was fortunate enough to get my hands upon a copy published by John Murray. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published by John Murray and also is a main friend of Oscar's.

So, we have Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar's wife and children, and more as the characters put in a scenario where they must solve a multiple murder case.

The book is cleverly written as a personal diary of Robert Sherard. It gives the feeling of Watson and Holmes as an insider's view. Mr. Sherard takes us day by day through the events leading up to the first murder and on through the conclusion.

We are taken to the world on Oscar Wilde's London in 1892. There are maps, tours of actual sites and history of actual events that took place. These color the dialog and shape the story within.

This was a great book and fine mystery. I am left intrigued by this series and will be sure to read the other books.
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