The second witty installment in an astonishingly authentic historical mystery series featuring detective Oscar Wilde and his partner in crime, Arthur Conan Doyle
It's 1892, and Wilde is the toast of London, riding high on the success of his play Lady Windemere's Fan. While celebrating with friends at a dinner party he conjures up a game called "murder" that poses the question: Who would you most like to kill? Wilde and friends -- including Arthur Conan Doyle, Bram Stoker, and poet Robert Sherard (the novel's narrator) -- write the names of their "victims" on pieces of paper and choose them one by one. After leaving the party, Wilde scoffs at the suggestion that he may have instigated a very dangerous game indeed....
The very next day, the game takes an all-too- sinister turn when the first "victim" turns up dead. Soon Wilde and his band of amateur detectives must travel through the realms of politics, theatre, and even boxing to unearth whose misguided passions have the potential to become deadly poisons...not only for the perpetrator of the seemingly perfect crimes but also for the trio of detectives investigating them.
Richly atmospheric and as entertaining as Wilde himself, this book is the second in a series destined to delight mystery readers and fans of historical fiction alike.
In British author Brandreth's impressive second Oscar Wilde mystery (after 2007's Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance), the aesthete and playwright proves himself a brilliant and insightful sleuth. At a May 1892 meeting of the Socrates Club, a group founded by Wilde and including such luminaries as Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, the members play "murder," a game that involves writing the name of a "victim" on a piece of paper and trying to guess who chose whom and why. The amusement sours in the face of certain selections in poor taste, like Mrs. Oscar Wilde. Real murders follow, starting with the horrific death by fire of the ex-fianc e of one of the participants, a disgraced minister. As in Nicholas Meyer's second Sherlock Holmes pastiche, The West End Horror, such real-life figures as Doyle or Stoker can be easily eliminated as the killer, but there are enough other suspects to keep the reader guessing at the solution of this intricate whodunit.
A Wilde ride
I discovered this book in of all places, Hong Kong, at the check out counter of a convenience store for novelty I bought it. Thinking it was a Chinese unauthorized story, I read through the first chapter on my brief fairy ride back to my hotel. I was hooked. Well written and all in the voice and character of one of my favorite writers. The idea that mr Wilde could have indeed been the inspiration for Sherlock Holmes was shear genius.
Read them all and prepare yourself for more to come in the near future.