- Paperback: 416 pages
- Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton (1 May 2008)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0719569702
- ISBN-13: 978-0719569708
- Product Dimensions: 15.4 x 23.3 x 3.2 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,688,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death: Oscar Wilde Mystery: 2 Paperback – 1 May 2008
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'Hugely enjoyable' (Daily Mail)
'Rather fun ...Brandreth unashamedly wheels out a cast of historical characters to die for' (Lucy Atkins, Sunday Times)
'A neat take on the big hitters in the book world just over a century ago ... Gyles is a joy to the nation' (Virginia Blackburn, Daily Express)
'A clever concept spiced with great Wilde epigrams' (Daily Telegraph)
'He has won great acclaim for his series of Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries ... as witty and entertaining as his hero, Gyles is renowned for his charisma and charm' (Daily Mail)
'The last novel I read was The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries ... it was very good' (Nicholas Parsons, Daily Telegraph)
'A carnival of cliffhangers and fiendish twists-and-turns' (Sunday Express)
An amusing and satisfactorily unlikely story (Jessica Mann, Literary Review)
One of the most enjoyable crime series around ... He slips easily into the 21st century, does this Oscar (imagine, if you can, an even higher-wattage Stephen Fry), just as, thanks to Brandreth, we as readers are able to travel effortlessly back to join him in his own age. It is well worth the journey - and I can't wait until the next one. (Scotsman)
'Brandreth's knowledge of fin-de-siecle London, of the social and political history of the period and, above all, of Wilde himself is most impressive. Wildean witticisms abound' (Brian Maye, Irish Times)
'Terrifically well researched, it all whizzes along and the reader can have fun identifying the real Wilde's witticisms from Brandreth's' (Scotland on Sunday)
'As much imaginative biography as murder mystery, this book paints a lively portrait of Wilde at the height of his fame' (Irish Examiner)
It's all mid-morning bracers, detections based on the shininess of shoes, hansom cabs and gems like "work is the best antidote to sorrow" as we gallivant around 1890's London. Wilde is a tough subject to make boring, but this is great escapism (Danny Wheeler, London Lite)
'Brandreth really has got the measure of his subject, catching the essence of the great man at almost every turn' (Yorkshire Evening Post)
[A] deservedly well-received series (District Messenger)
'Gyles Brandreth has done a great job with this continuing series...I'm wild about Wilde' (Birmingham Sunday Mercury)
'Sparking dialogue, as you would expect, mystery piled deliciously upon mystery, a plot with a pace and a panache and a London backdrop that would grace any Victorian theatre' (Steve Craggs, Northern Echo)
'That curious, uneasy shadowland of late Victorian London, where Society, Art and Popular Entertainment overlap, is richly evoked, and the details of Wilde's life are mentioned by Sherard ... in a perfectly natural, convincing manner: the man he presents to us is both the authentic Oscar and the authentic amateur sleuth' (District Messenger)
'A good read' (Woman's Way)
'Utterly charming caper of murder and wit . . . my reader loves them' (Bookseller)
'Brandreth characterises Wilde with great finesse and provides an unconventional and languid narrative to match' (Tangled Web (online))
'Brandreth writes with a light touch, but conveys a sense of the moral hypocrisy and oppressive class system of the time. What raises this book several notches above most mysteries is the authentic historical detail and the engaging portrait of Wilde ... sparkling bits of wit and wisdom' (Historical Novels Review)
'Highly acclaimed Oscar Wilde murder mysteries ... richly described background of fin-de-siecle London' (Greenock Telegraph)
'Engaging, entertaining and skilfully written' (The Sydney Morning Herald)
'One of the most enjoyable (series) around' (Diplomat Magazine)
'Gyles is a joy to the nation.' (International Express)
'Wickedly imagined and wildly entertaining' (Good Book Guide)
'An enjoyable read' (MX Magazine (Australia))
'Give a big, fat, sloppy kiss to the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, a sharply-written, deeply urbane and ongoing series' (QX International)
'Plenty of cliff hangers, and twists in the tale to keep even the most avid crime buff flicking pages 'till last in the night' (Birmingham Sunday Mercury)
In OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH, the second in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, a parlour game of 'Murder' has lethal consequences... 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall SmithSee all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
Goody, settle down by the fire two new novels to read.
Hang on they are identical.
I should have smelled a rat when the dog didn`t bark.
I think the law of public opinion (topical) should insist that messrs amaz** should make it clear they are selling the same book under two different names.
Buyer beware, I was taken once before when I bought a "New" John Grisham title It was in Spanish!
The book proved to be a pleasant read and Brandreth does seem very capable of capturing the late Victorian period and Wilde's role in it. However, the author almost appears to be having too much fun with the setting and characters, to the detriment of the actual mystery. The suspense of the book drops in and out as if Brandreth is only interested in crime when it suits him. This gives the book a slightly disjointed feel as it heads off on tangents on more than one occasion. The book is a decent enough read, but does not have the core story to really capture a crime fan's attention.
The plot is certainly a good deal stronger. Here Wilde at a dinner for the Socrates Club, proposes a silly game whereby everyone must in secret write the name of who they would like to murder on a piece of paper. Arthur Conan Doyle finds the game in poor taste & is proved right as the victims nominated on paper slips are apparently being bumped off 1 by 1.
Wilde aided by his "Watson" Robert Sherrard and other friends must unravel the truth particularly as Oscar and wife Constance have been nominated for death too.
As before Wilde is well characterised as a bon vivant, ruthlessly witty and possibly feeling the need to live up to his reputation. Negative sides to his character are shown too e.g. his prejudice toward unnattractive people. He even seems relieved Sherrard and others are a little in love with Constance as noticing the changes age has wrought on her beauty, he has begun to find her less attractive.
He's clearly quite a drinker too as few chapters pass by without him stopping for a glass of something.
The cast of characters real and fictitious are good and the resolution ( I was half right) plays fair as one you can look back at the clues you missed.
I recommend this to those who enjoyed the Candlelight Murders and all who enjoy quirky detective stories.
I also found it very much a 'gentlemans read'. There are a few female characters, all to be found lacking (according to the main characters)and none of whom play any major role. This did absolutely nothing for the story. Whilst I had no objection to the blatant homosexual references, the more subtle influence appears in the fact that all the main characters are men who appreciate only male company and do not have any worthwhile interaction with female counterparts. I don't mean this as an overtly feminist remark, more that because of this, the story loses a dimension.
It did have a strangely soporific effect though. Being one of those creatures that cannot attempt to sleep without having first picked up a book, often being unable to put the book down, this offering has the opposite effect and I barely get to turn a page before I'm nodding. So, whilst I don't find it a boring read, it obviously isn't a thrilling page turner either.
So first off, I really enjoyed this book, and would have given it 4 stars, right up until the end, when it really dissappointed me.
I adored the characters, as I did when I read the first book. Brandreth has captured Wilde, Bosie, Constance and the children wonderfully, and although I don't know as much about the other characters, like Arthur conan doyle and robert sherard, they come across as excellent characters, full of life and wonderfully written! Doyle doesn't feature as much in this book as the first, as he spends much more time with his wife. The other characters who show up are just as full of life, although considering several are killed, you don't get long to get to know them, so when they did die, I didn't really feel upset by it.
The story is clever, and I didn't see the ending coming, I wont spoil it for you. But it really did dissappoint me. I feel a much better ending could have been put in place, without much difficulty, but I wasn't impressed by the one we were given.
But to be fair, the rest of the story was very good, I would still recommend you read it, especially if you've read the first in the series. But i wouldn't expect as much from this one as the first, and I don't think i'll be reading it again.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
G.B. is a good writer, very erudite and entertaining. I love the mix of Holmes and Wilde in these stories.Published 6 months ago by Bookaholic
Very enjoyable. Well written and very atmospheric. Keeps you gripped.Published 18 months ago by Martin Swinnerton
Bought this to read on holiday as I've read the others and they were fantastic.Published on 28 Aug. 2014 by Siobhan Elam
Gyles feed in all sorts of Wildean and fin de siecle atmosphere, you could be in the room with him!Published on 30 Jun. 2014 by philip antill
Fantastic! Brilliant twists throughout. Would recommend to anyone who enjoys Oscar Wilde and would enjoy this fictional journey of his life.Published on 26 Mar. 2014 by Ms. Jessica M. Carter
I really wanted to find something bad to say about the Oscar Wilde mystery series because I hate both Wilde and Brandreth. Wouldn't I just love to catch both out in a mis-quote. Read morePublished on 21 Feb. 2014 by Carroty Nell
Whom would you like to kill? Name on paper, please, these to be drawn out of a bag - the aim of those assembled to identify the writer. Read morePublished on 26 July 2013 by Mr. D. L. Rees
Having devoured the first book in this serious, I felt compelled to try the second offering. And it was excellent. Read morePublished on 25 Mar. 2013 by Michael Jacobs
Thoroughly enjoyable and very clever but not great literature. I think I enjoyed the first one more, but that maybe because it was fresher - I don't think I will make it through... Read morePublished on 7 Jan. 2013 by Lilias