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Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile: Oscar Wilde Mystery: 3 [Kindle Edition]

Gyles Brandreth
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £8.99
Kindle Price: £4.31 includes VAT* & free wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

The latest in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle. Paris, 1883. Oscar Wilde, aged twenty-seven, has come to the city of decadence to discover its charms, to rekindle his friendship with the divine Sarah Bernhardt and to collaborate with France's most celebrated actor-manager, Edmond La Grange. Oscar discovers dark secrets lying at the heart of the La Grange company, and is confronted by murders both foul and bizarre. To solve the crimes, to unravel the mystery, Oscar risks his life -- and his reputation -- embarking on a dangerous adventure that takes him from bohemian night clubs to an asylum for the insane, from a duel in the Buttes de Chaumont to the gates of Reading Gaol.

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'The atmosphere and setting are lovely and exquisitely recreated by an author who has an intimate knowledge of the world he describes ... I won't reveal the denouement, but I can assure readers that the author knows exactly what he's doing' (Tangled Web)

'It's a great book ... there's enough wit and intelligence here to make it more than a 'guilty pleasure' ... an intelligent read with good characterisation' (Scotsman)

'Highly acclaimed Oscar Wilde series ... excellent writing ... it's a fun book that introduces you to many interesting characters ... a light-hearted and entertaining murder mystery' (Irish Post)

'An entertaining yarn - easy and pleasing to read - with an extensive set of vivid characters' (Gay times)

Praise for Gyles Brandreth's Oscar Wilde series: (***)

One of the most intelligent, amusing and entertaining books of the year. If Oscar Wilde himself had been asked to write this book he could not have done it any better.' (Alexander McCall Smith)

Genius . . . Wilde has sprung back to life in this thrilling and richly atmospheric new novel. . .The perfect topography for crime and mystery . . . magnificent . . . an unforgettable shocker about sex and vice, love and death (Sunday Express)

Very funny (Independent on Sunday)

Both a romp through fin-de-siècle London . . . and a carefully researched portrait of Oscar Wilde . . . Very entertaining (Literary Review)

A fine and sympathetic writer (The Times Literary Supplement)

Brandreth has poured his considerable familiarity with London into a witty fin de siecle entertainment, and the rattlingly elegant dialogue is peppered with witticisms uttered by Wilde well before he ever thought of putting them into his plays (Sunday Times)

Gyles Brandreth and Oscar Wilde seem made for one another . . . There is much here to enjoy . . . the complex and nicely structured plot zips along. (Daily Telegraph)

Not merely, like all the best after-dinner speakers, does he know how to spin a yarn; unlike most politicians, he has a touching access to the secrets of the human heart (The Times)

He can tell a story in the way Daphne du Maurier could . . . He creates a world and keeps you there (Sunday Express)

'The third in an enjoyable, well-researched series' (Sunday Mercury)

Book Description

In OSCAR WILDE AND THE DEAD MAN'S SMILE, the third in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar risks his life to solve a series of deadly murders in bohemian Paris... 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 955 KB
  • Print Length: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (29 April 2010)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #169,875 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Mr Wilde solves another mystery 15 Jun. 2009
This is the third Oscar Wilde murder mystery and this time we are treated to a prequel in which Wilde first meets his "Watson" and they go on to investigate a series of strange deaths connected with an acting family in Paris.

The problem for me is that as Brandreth has gone on his character (Wilde) has improved as a detective. Ordinarily this would be fine but it comes across as inconsistent when the story is set before the earlier two.

My other problem with this is that the true solution to the mystery is revealed at the end and many facts come out that would be very difficult for the reader to work out, or even guess, in advance. For me a murder mystery where I lack even a remote chance of working out the result before the end is a little disappointing.

Having said all that the book is enjoyable and you certainly feel like you have been transported to Paris. I very much look forward to the next adventure.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars AN ENJOYABLE INTRIGUING TEASE 8 Aug. 2013
The third Wilde novel in Brandreth's series of six, this occurring mainly in Paris a few years earlier. Wilde has translated "Hamlet" into French, but the production is plagued by "accidents" and deaths. Who has it in for the illustrious Le Grange acting dynasty? As this is before Conan Doyle's Holmes, Wilde models his detecting on that of Poe's M. Dupin - newly met future best friend and biographer Robert Sherard faithfully recording his every move.

As ever, the work is set firmly in time and place, fascinating details delivered in abundance with aplomb. (Brandreth asks readers to let him know if he gets anything wrong.) Here is flamboyant Wilde in a decadent city, the most outrageous aspects all firmly based on fact. (Actress Sarah Bernhardt DID sleep in a coffin and have a mangy lion called Victor Hugo. Sightseers DID flock to the morgue, eager to see the corpses twitch.)

Perhaps the tale is a little slow to get started, but the pace accelerates. The result is an impressive murder mystery, its climax packed with surprises - not least the apparently definitive explanation neatly replaced by an alternative. Icing on the cake? An audacious closing touch cleverly brings everything back to the start. The biggest clue has been in front of us all along!

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unveiling the not-entirely obvious 23 Sept. 2011
Maybe it's because I've read the first 3 back-to back and am now embarked on the 4th, but I'm finding this series a bit tiresome. The old Wildean aphorisms are all there, frequently in other mouths, making me wonder just how on the money Whistler was with his "You will, Oscar, you will" jibe; I did wonder if Mr Brandreth has taken Big Tobacco's corporate donations, given the startling number of references to "Lucky Strike" cigarettes; and there are some very 21st Century usages emanating from Victorian mouths. It's also difficult to imagine a fully qualified doctor describing someone who's just had an unpleasant experience as "being in a state of shock" - as any medical dictionary will confirm, this refers to a very specific medical state of reduced blood flow to the essential organs, eg in the case of serious blood loss.
However, there is no doubt that Mr Brandreth has researched his subject extremely thoroughly, even if the biographical details are not sprinkled through the text like caviar, but rather spread around like marmalade (to misquote Oscar himself).
The books are entertaining, and certainly well-written, but no-one could say that the learning has been worn lightly; it's all a bit overly clever for my liking.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book in this series 2 May 2013
By Michael Jacobs VINE VOICE
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Having read the first two books in this series, I naturally plodded on to the third - the Dead Man's Smile. As other reviewers have said, this book goes further back in time and is set in a decade which preceeds the previous two volumes' settings. Also, the story is removed (relatively) far away from the streets of London and based primarily in Paris. For me, part of the charm of the previous books was the way Brandreth used his first hand knowledge of London - a city many English readers will be at least vaguely familiar with - to recreate street-by-street detail. Those familar, or au fait, with the urban layout of Paris may really enjoy a simialr aspect in this third volume, but for me (despite having visited Paris a fair few times), I quite missed the familiar and intruiging Victorian London setting. At the same time, hats must be taken off to Brandreth for doing something different and sharing experience of his time in France with the reader. Now, as for the plot/substance of this novel, it would have been rather difficult to guess the outcome and identity of the murderer from reading the first 90% of the novel. Very few clues are given. I quite like that, however, as it leaves the reader free to come up with their own idea; not from clues in things said or done, but from the more general impression one gets from the characters. This is where Brandreth excels, in my opinion. His books are not merely a game whereby the observant reader spots references to the odd object/quote here and there, and pieces together clues in their own head. Brandreth is very strong at creating characters - not always transparent or easy to understand - but often complex/realistic enough to give the plot some extra dimension. Read more ›
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Published 7 months ago by mrs janice brown
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
I am becoming annoyed with the author of these stories. I liked the first couple I read, but the author is breaking all the 'rules' of a good mystery writer. Read more
Published 9 months ago by Mary M.
5.0 out of 5 stars I am so glad i discovered this series
I am so glad i discovered this series, i look forward to finishing the chores and getting down to a good read. Read more
Published 10 months ago by sheila yorkston
2.0 out of 5 stars tedious
unfortunately i found this to be very slow moving and rather repetitive unlike the previous two books in the series.
Published 19 months ago by Ziggy Piggy
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best
I did not enjoy this as much as the other books in the series.I did not like the characters verymuch and
possibly because it was not set in London. Read more
Published on 13 Jan. 2013 by Cazz
1.0 out of 5 stars Complaint
You sent this book by mistake for the one ordered which was 'Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders' Please rectify.
Published on 26 Nov. 2012 by richard thomas
4.0 out of 5 stars Another enjoyable read from Gyles Brandreth
How wonderful to read yet another book in the series, where Gyles Brandreth brings together the genius of Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle in a retrospective murder mystery. Read more
Published on 17 Sept. 2012 by Patricia Fawcett
3.0 out of 5 stars Entertaining but over complex
Once again, a good yarn in with Oscar Wilde solves various dastardly crimes, this time in 'flashback' mode as we learn about the younger Wilde in America and Paris. Read more
Published on 25 Mar. 2011 by H. Collingbourne
5.0 out of 5 stars First read
Haven't read Gyles Brandreth before but will certainly be doing so in the future. Thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Published on 7 Oct. 2010 by Mrs. J. Ivall
5.0 out of 5 stars FORMIDABLE !!!!!
Published on 19 Oct. 2009 by Scaniglia Virginie
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