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Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders: Oscar Wilde Mystery: 1 Paperback – 10 Jan 2008

3.8 out of 5 stars 44 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks (10 Jan. 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0719569303
  • ISBN-13: 978-0719569302
  • Product Dimensions: 13 x 2.5 x 19.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (44 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 245,166 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

Praise for Gyles Brandreth and Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders (-)

'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)

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)

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)

This is to be a series and if they're all as enjoyable as the first, they'll all be surefire best-sellers . . . The plot races along like a carriage pulled by thoroughbreds . . . So enjoyably plausible (The Scotsman)

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

Brandreth has the Wildean lingo down pat and the narrative is dusted with piquant social observations. A sparkling treat for fans of Wilde and Sherlock Holmes alike (Easy Living)

Wilde as detective is thoroughly convincing. . . . The period, and the two or three worlds in which Wilde himself moved, are richly evoked . . . Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders is an excellent detective story. I'm keenly looking forward to the rest of the series (The District Messenger, Journal of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London)

Brandreth knows his Wilde . . . Candlelight Murders is an excellent read, and it seems the scene may be set for others in the same style -- and with the same lead character (Gay Times)

This is not only a good piece of detective fiction in its own right, it is highly entertaining, spiced as it is with Wildean sayings, both real and invented and the imagined conversations and intellectual sparring between Wilde and Conan Doyle. Future tales in the series are something to look forward to (Leicester Mercury)

Brandreth's accomplishment is evident in the force of Wilde's personality, which fairly leaps off the page...readers will delight in the effortless characterization and deft portrait of late Victorian England. (Stephanie Barron)

I always wanted to meet Oscar Wilde and now I feel that I have done, and shared a terrific, bizarre and frightening adventure with him. I recommend the experience. (Anne Perry)

This excellent novel . . . I'd be staggered if, by the end of 2007, you'd read many better whodunnits. Brandreth demonstrates supremely measured skill as a story-teller. (Nottingham Evening Post)

'The rollocking tale...a witty and gripping portrayal of corruption in late Victorian London,a nd one of which Wilde and Sir Arthur would be proud' (Livewire)

PRAISE FOR GYLES BRANDRETH

'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)

A fine and sympathetic writer (The Times Literary Supplement)

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

Book Description

In OSCAR WILDE AND THE CANDLELIGHT MURDERS, the first in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, the brutal murder of a young rent-boy puts Oscar in grave danger... 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Brandreth's research leads him to the discovery that Oscar Wilde and Conan Doyle had been friends. That discovery has lead to a really engaging novel where Oscar Wilde is, in effect, playing Sherlock Holmes.

Wilde has a mysterious appointment to keep at a house in London's Cowley Street. It is there that he discovers the body of a beautiful sixteen year old boy, surrounded by candles, with his throat cut. To make the situation even more complicated, as Wilde knew the young man and the 'lunch club' which he used to frequent.

Scotland Yard are reluctant to investigate, despite a word from Conan Doyle, so Wilde (and his faithful sidekick Robert Sherard) decides to investigate for themselves. Their investigations mean they cross paths with some very colourful characters.

I loved this book. Not only is it a great murder mystery, it also portrays vividly the characters of Wilde and Conan Doyle and also attempts to illuminate the nature of Wilde's marriage to Constance.

Fictional murder stories involving investigations by real historical figures appear to be in vogue at the moment, but this is one of the better ones.

Recommended.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this novel immensely. Brandreth is a superb writer with a nice line in understated humour and a keen ability to evoke a period. The story is intriguing and the characters very well-drawn, with Wilde himself emerging as fun, fascinating and humane. It's a terrific read and I hope the author will produce a whole series. Book 2 is out in May 2008.
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Format: Hardcover
I love a good crime novel with a historical setting so this sort of thing is right up my street.

As far as I can tell it has been meticulously researched and I found London and Wilde to have been beautifully evoked. Obviously with Oscar Wilde as your lead character it is hard to avoid peppering the book with bon mots and aphorisms. For me that simply served to bring the character of Wilde to life. I was also fascinated by all the little details of Wilde's life and by the take that the narrator has on the great scandal that is to come - heavily foreshadowed in the book.

Can Brandreth be blamed for taking advantage of the wealth of Wilde's Wit? I don't think so - in fact the prospect of getting a little Wildean wit in the world of Sherlock Holmes was what drew me to the book in the first place. That's what I wanted, that's what I got and I hugely enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is fabulous. Starting with the front cover - it's vibrant mix of colours and patterns represents the characters excellently. It was actually the cover that caught my eye rather than hearing about the book. I think this has done Gyles Brandreth a favour as most people won't know this side of him; instead they'll know him for his more dryer material!

The plot is quirky and sucks you straight in. Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are friends (this is confirmed in the notes at the back of the book), Doyle is in the middle of having one or two books published and Wilde enjoys the character of Sherlock Holmes. Thrown into the mix is the great-grandson of Wordsworth, Robert Sherard. Documented information is filtered throughout the novel and it is narrated by Robert.

It is written in the tradition (from the blurb) of Dorothy Sayers (whom I am not familiar with) and Arthur Conan Doyle. An easy read which will have you looking for clues as the novel progresses. Enjoyable characters and superbly written prose - I can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is fabulous. Starting with the front cover - it's vibrant mix of colours and patterns represents the characters excellently. It was actually the cover that caught my eye rather than hearing about the book. I think this has done Gyles Brandreth a favour as most people won't know this side of him; instead they'll know him for his more dryer material!

The plot is quirky and sucks you straight in. Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde are friends (this is confirmed in the notes at the back of the book), Doyle is in the middle of having one or two books published and Wilde enjoys the character of Sherlock Holmes. Thrown into the mix is the great-grandson of Wordsworth, Robert Sherard. Documented information is filtered throughout the novel and it is narrated by Robert.

It is written in the tradition (from the blurb) of Dorothy Sayers (whom I am not familiar with) and Arthur Conan Doyle. An easy read which will have you looking for clues as the novel progresses. Enjoyable characters and superbly written prose - I can't wait for the next one!
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By Michael Jacobs VINE VOICE on 2 Jan. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is a great book, for reasons which I didn't quite expect. It's one of those books which is incredibly easy and enjoyable to read; however, it also manages to pay homage to and explore so many areas of Wilde's life and the culture and literature of the time. The novel is set vividly in London, with Brandreth's gepgraphical detail and descriptions being spot on, bringing late Victorian England (and turn of the century Europe) to life. The plot is not madly over the top full of twists and turns, but there are plenty of surprised and levels of detail - the book is perfectly balanced in this and other regards. I was expecting this to be rather naff, given the rather fanciful idea of Wilde taking on a Sherlock Holmes type of role, but the text and its characters are so expertly treated that it is really enjoyable. Even having a university dissertation on Wilde and his circles in the 1890s, I was very impressed by all of the socio-historical details and the accuracy in portraying them. I look forward to reading the second volume.
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