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Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol: Oscar Wilde Mystery: 6 [Kindle Edition]

Gyles Brandreth
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)

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Book Description

In OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL, the sixth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, Reading Gaol's most famous prisoner is pitted against a ruthless and fiendishly clever serial killer. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith It is 1897, Dieppe. Oscar Wilde, poet, playwright, novelist, raconteur and ex-convict, has fled the country after his release from Reading Gaol. Tonight he is sharing a drink and the story of his cruel imprisonment with a mysterious stranger. He has endured a harsh regime: the treadmill, solitary confinement, censored letters, no writing materials. Yet even in the midst of such deprivation, Oscar's astonishing detective powers remain undiminished - and when first a brutal warder and then the prison chaplain are found murdered, who else should the governor turn to for help other than Reading Gaol's most celebrated inmate?

In this, the latest novel in his acclaimed Oscar Wilde murder mystery series, Gyles Brandreth takes us deep into the dark heart of Wilde's cruel incarceration.

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'The curse of fictionalising well-known characters is having to manoeuvre within the facts, but Brandreth manages it superlatively. This is light stuff, but energetic, and Brandreth clearly has Wilde at heart' (Financial Times)

Praise for the Oscar Wilde Series

'Gyles Brandreth and Oscar Wilde seem made for each other'

(Daily Telegraph)

'A cast of historical characters to die for' (Sunday Times)

'Genius . . . Wilde has sprung back to life in this thrilling and richly atmospheric new novel' (Sunday Express)

'A witty fin-de-siecle entertainment . . . rattlingly elegant dialogue' (Sunday Times)

'Very entertaining' (Literary Review)

'A flight of imagination that partners Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle in a deadly pursuit to the heart of the Eternal City merits a round of applause for sheer chutzpah . . . Gyles Brandreth succeeds magnificently . . . The relationship between the two writers is drawn so convincingly, but there is also dialogue of the period without any Victorian heaviness and a plot that is intriguing throughout. Brandreth's research is impeccable. Literary and theological references merge easily into a skilfully crafted story that goes all the way to meet the standards set by his two eminent protagonists' (Daily Mail)

'Brandreth has always delighted in puzzles, in the quirks of both the past and present, and in the gloriously camp wit of Oscar Wilde. Here all of these things come together in a story that reminds us how enjoyable a well-told traditional murder mystery can be' (Scotsman)

'Brandreth's deftly plotted, entertaining escapades double as historical novels of considerable merit . . . Brandreth is a deft hand at weaving plot, historical atmosphere and entertaining characters' (Historical Novels Review)

'Brandreth's portrait of Oscar Wilde is entirely plausible; plots are ingenious and the historical backgroud is fascinating' (Scotsman)

'Hugely enjoyable' (Daily Mail)

'Cleverly plotted, intelligent and thoroughly diverting . . . This novel is an educated page-turner; a feast of intriguing and light-hearted entertainment' (Good Book Guide)

'A carnival of cliff-hangers and fiendish twists-and-turns . . . The joy of the book . . . is the rounded and compelling presentation of the character of Wilde . . . The imaginary and the factual are woven together with devilish ingenuity. Brandreth also gives his hero speeches of great beauty and wisdom and humanity' (Sunday Express)

'Packed with colourful characters and unlikely adventures . . . this latest instalment in Brandreth's clever and unapologetically entertaining Oscar Wilde series will not disappoint' (Good Book Guide)

'Even the conventional crime novel has its pleasures' (Scotsman)

'What sets the novel apart is Brandreth's talent for conveying time and place. The barbarism of close confinement has rarely been so graphically and movingly portrayed' (Daily Mail)

Book Description

In OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL, the sixth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, Reading Gaol's most famous prisoner is pitted against a ruthless and fiendishly clever serial killer. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith

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4.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I Don't Want This Series to End! 12 Nov. 2012
This series of Oscar Wilde Mysteries just keeps getting better and better with each subsequent addition, and this is the best so far. The author knows his subject inside out and has captured the cadence and rhythm of Wilde's manner of speech, providing absolute credibility to fictitious conversations. Anyone who has read a biography of Oscar Wilde will recognise many of the incidents that took place during his time in gaol, but Brandreth has carried out such extensive research that the reader now has a compelling, detailed understanding of what day-to-day life was like in prison during the 19th and early 20th century. It's a shame that this series will inevitably need to draw to a close with Wilde's death at such an early age. Perhaps in the future the author will consider a series of short stories presented as memoirs...?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing and sad 16 Mar. 2014
By Cazz
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Different from the other novels in this series in that it was not the typical Oscar Wilde but a more subdued and unhappy one as he was incarcerated in prison.The descriptions of the prison conditions werehorrific.
The plot was ingenious but readers maybe able to see the twist this time
I would recommend any of the series as the they are well written and interesting and the character of Wilde is always a joy although in this book he is more subdued than usual
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent and really clever 26 Nov. 2012
By Brolyn
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I have read all the books in the Oscar Wilde series and I believe Oscar Wilde and The Reading Gaol Murders is a contender for the accolade of the best one in the series. The plotting is superb and worthy of anything that Conan Doyle (a 'participant' in the other books) or Oscar Wilde could have written. The narrative is marbled with the emotional anguish of Wilde's incarceration and raises it above a merely plot-driven novel. Like the previous reviewer I don't want the series to end either and I hope Brandreth manages to squeeze a few more books out of this fascinating character. I also look forward to a possible TV adaptation which I believe is in development.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Horrors and Logic 30 Sept. 2013
In previous entries in this series Oscar Wilde acted as the detective and Arthur Conan Doyle the role of Dr. Watson. In this novel, Conan Doyle is present only by reference, while Oscar Wilde occupies the entire plot since it really is biographical, beginning with his incarceration for two years at hard labor, and describes the horrors of the English penal system at that time. Whatever mystery is to be solved is left for an astonishing ending.

The novel begins with Oscar Wilde, having fled England because of his disgrace, sitting at a café in Dieppe where he is confronted by a stranger who says he wishes to write a book about the murderers Wilde met in prison, and then flashes back to the author's experiences while jailed and vivid descriptions of how the prisons were run and the treatment of the prisoners in great detail.

This is the sixth novel in the series, and the author promises several more, hopefully more like the predecessors to Reading Gaol which were a lot more pertinent to the theme, although this book certainly provided the reader with a lot of insights, especially on how degrading the prisons were to the prisoners. It is amazing, really, that Wilde, on the brink of despair and possible madness, retained not only his deductive abilities, but was able to write such a gem as The Ballad of Reading Gaol.

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5.0 out of 5 stars compelling and utterly readable 21 April 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I have been eyeing these mysteries with Wilde as chief protagonist for years - so to have the opportunity to read one, particularly one set in the location where Wilde wrote one of his most felicitous and moving works, the ballad of reading gaol, just tipped my inclination - it has proven to be far, far better than i could have imagined. I don't know if WIlde was 'like' this in reality but I absolutely found that the wit and sufferings were most likely. His sharp mind and discernment were utterly plausible, but, mainly I found the storytelling and plot line of triple murders and explanations, prison routines (which normally i hate reading), contact with authority figures, etc. utterly gripping - I was literaly up all night. there are at least two big draws here - one is following an accurate 'as if' story line which reveals much about Wilde's experiences, and the other is to follow what happens to the prisoners and who is committing the murders - the perpetrator is fiendish and clever. the only tiny blot for me is that i did not entirely believe in the relationship to a young man in the prison, yet while a lot hinges on it, it is only in the final pages that we find out WIlde was mistaken in this attachment - perhaps the author had meant to plant this gap in the text - if so, even more adept skill has been deployed. really thoroughly entertaining.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Good 17 Dec. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of mystery and Oscar Wilde, so this is a great combination, Sherlock must be based on Oscar, or is he? The way Gyles writes makes it a complex topic.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Dark Side of Oscar Wilde 30 Dec. 2012
By Richard
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Wilde's time in prison is investigated in the latest in the murder mystery series. Undoubtedly, Brandreth is one of the leading experts on the Irish writer and has so far used his knowledge to great effect when mixing truth and fiction. This however, follows a different format and is not quite so electrifying as previous novels in the series. That said, it is still enjoyable and wont disappoint fans of the Oscar Wilde Mysteries.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars top marks
Very interesting murder mystery and Oscar is brillant
Published 2 months ago by OAPond
5.0 out of 5 stars In this book is a highly enjoyable and informative read ...
In this book is a highly enjoyable and informative read; the credibility of the places, of the characters and the language they use all show that the author has done quite a lot of... Read more
Published 8 months ago by Catherine
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
another Oscar Wilde and...winner
Published 11 months ago by Ja Swannell
5.0 out of 5 stars Another excellent book in the series
This book is somewhat different from the others but I really enjoyed it. Oscar Wilde is sent to Reading Gaol and his anguish is very evident in the writing although the famous... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Celia48
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Could not read it. Reading Gao is ,simply too barbarian .
Published 13 months ago by a voice from yester year
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
This whole series of books are outstanding. Gyles Brandreth can appear to be one of the most irritating personalities on the TV, however, none of this comes across in his writing... Read more
Published 15 months ago by Duncan Sowry-House
5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, Intelligent and addictive
This series of books is amazing. I finished this particular book in a matter of hours as it was impossibe to put down. Gyles Brandeth's writing is compelling reading. Read more
Published 16 months ago by Joanne Rice
4.0 out of 5 stars Another good read with a different tone to earlier books .....
Probably one of the better books in this series and helped to explain what prison life would have been like for a intelligent and witty man like Oscar Wilde. Read more
Published 21 months ago by J. Speakman
5.0 out of 5 stars Would buy from this seller again.
Turned up within a couple of days and in a new condition.
You have got to read this book,I have the whole set and was hooked on reading the first one,they are written... Read more
Published 23 months ago by sharon harrison
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
I love all the Oscar Wilde books by Gyles Brandreth. All the books have a twist and are very informative. Read more
Published 23 months ago by Mrs Alison J Savage
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