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Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A…

Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery (Oscar Wilde Mysteries) (edition 2008)

by Gyles Brandreth

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2441247,176 (3.48)13
Title:Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery (Oscar Wilde Mysteries)
Authors:Gyles Brandreth
Info:Touchstone (2008), Edition: Original, Paperback, 416 pages
Collections:Read but unowned
Tags:mystery, alternate history

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Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death by Gyles Brandreth



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Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
This story was immensely entertaining! The author really out-did himself with his Wildean research, because the dialogue (esp Oscar's), the settings, entertainment and even descriptions of the food is spot on. The story begins with Oscar Wilde hosting a dinner, for a private invitation, men-only group called the "Socrates Club." At the end of the dinner, Oscar proposes a game, in which each person must write down, on a slip of paper, the name of the person they would most like to murder. Everyone assumes that the names are written in jest, but after the first person named "accidentally" dies, a chain of murders is triggered and it's up to Oscar Wilde, his friend Robert, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and a strange assortment of motley characters to solve the case. Oscar knows he's no Sherlock Holmes. But he has the accurate advantage of having superior observation skills. His prowess lies in noting what people wear, their countenances, their reactions, and of course their words. Even so, Oscar is not a detective by profession, and so must simultaneously keep up appearances at parties, galas, at the theater and of course on the stage! An absolute must-read for any Oscar Wilde fan, guaranteed to both frighten you and make you unexpectedly laugh out loud. It is an intelligent, shocking, and charming read that you will not want to put it down.

Seriously, this book is going in the top favorites! ( )
  asukamaxwell | Mar 10, 2014 |
Lacks much of the first one's charm. ( )
  sageness | Feb 7, 2014 |
I haven't read the first book, but that doesn't really seem to matter. This one is light and easy to read, and has a few well known people as characters: Wilde, Conan Doyle and Stoker, most notably. The narrator character isn't very distinctive -- pages sometimes seem to go by without an 'I' in the narrative, which is sometimes quite odd when the 'I' reappears.

There's not really much substance to it, and the motives seem quite thin, but it's entertaining enough to follow. Wilde is very Sherlock Holmes-like, as a detective -- all-knowing, and not revealing all he knows.

I wouldn't say no to reading the first book, or any sequels, but I'm not in a hurry to seek them out, either. I could give it three stars ("liked it"), since I didn't find anything egregiously wrong with it, but I didn't find anything I loved about it, either. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
This book gets points for being a murder mystery about Oscar Wilde; I enjoyed the setting and writing. However, it didn't totally live up to its premise. Particularly, I thought the large cast of characters was established clunkily, the first-person Watson-like narrator was rather irritatingly non-present in his own life, and the murder mystery itself not particularly elegant. It also really bothered me that none of the characters, including Wilde, were particularly proactive about what appeared to be a serial killer on the loose, and kept chalking things up to coincidence.

It's possible that some of the problems I had with the characters are due to the fac that I couldn't get hold of the first book in the series; mystery novels are usually meant to stand alone, but possibly we got to know the narrator, for instance, better in the first volume. ( )
  raschneid | Mar 31, 2013 |
It was fun to follow Oscar and his friends around England. Obviously, the book was very well researched, even including a few historical footnotes. Amusing innuendos and witticisms are on every page. As a mystery though, it lacked tension and there weren't enough clues to keep the reader engaged in unraveling the puzzle. The evidence, once the answer is unveiled, so it is "fair" by mystery terms but the mystery still feels dilute in a way. ( )
2 vote cammykitty | Nov 4, 2012 |
Showing 1-5 of 11 (next | show all)
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Would you like to know the great drama of my life? It is that I have put my genius into my life ... I have put only my talent into my works. - Oscar Wilde (1854-1900)
To Merlin and Emma
First words
It was Sunday 1 May 1892, a cold day, though the sun was bright.
The truth is: I love superstitions, Robert. They are the colour element of thought and imagination. They are the opponents of common sense. Common sense is the enemy of romance. Leave us some unreality. Do not make us offensively sane.
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Published in US as "Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder"
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"This, the second in Gyles Brandreth's series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde, opens at the Cadogan Hotel, London, in May 1892. Wilde - at the height of his fame and fortune - cannot know what he has begun when he proposes a game of 'Murder', in which each of his dinner guests must list the names of those they would most like to kill. It is only a game, but within hours the fourteen 'victims' begin to die, one by one." "Wilde and his confidantes, Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle, realise the murderer is among their party. In a race against time, Wilde must take action before he becomes the next victim."--BOOK JACKET.… (more)

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