Oscar Wilde makes a triumphant return to sleuthing in the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed historical murder mystery series based on real events, featuring Wilde as the detective aided by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, and written by a premier British biographer.
Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders opens in 1892, as an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle retires to a spa in Germany with a suitcase full of fan mail. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries among the letters—a finger; a lock of hair; and, finally, an entire severed hand.
The trail leads the intrepid duo to Rome, and to a case that involves miracles as well as murder. Pope Pius IX has just died—these are uncertain times in the Eternal City. To uncover the mystery and discover why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Wilde and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church and expose the deadly secrets of the six men closest to the pope.
In Gyles Brandreth’s captivating and richly atmospheric novel, Wilde’s skills as a detective are put to the test in his most compelling case yet.
Arthur Conan Doyle plays Watson to Oscar Wilde in Brandreth s strong fifth whodunit featuring Wilde as a Holmesian sleuth (after 2011 s Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders). In July 1892, Holmes s creator runs into his friend Wilde while on holiday in a German spa town. Doyle is beside himself because of the many letters to his creation that his publisher insists must be acknowledged in writing. Wilde volunteers to help cull the correspondence, and in the process makes a grisly find a human hand cut cleanly off at the wrist. The Rome postmark leads the pair to seek out other mail from the same sender and to the discovery of a human finger addressed to Holmes. Since the ring on the severed digit bears the pope s symbols, Wilde and Doyle travel to Rome, where they learn the ring was previously owned by a priest suspected of murder. The mystery is more engaging than the previous book s, even if the solution isn t Brandreth s cleverest.