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The Resource Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance, Gyles Brandreth

Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance, Gyles Brandreth

Label
Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance
Title
Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance
Statement of responsibility
Gyles Brandreth
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Member of
Storyline
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • /*Starred Review*/ In this wow of a history-mystery, Brandreth (a former MP, BBC broadcaster, and biographer) gives us nothing less than the most credible Sherlock Holmes since the master of deductive reasoning toppled into Reichenbach Falls—except the uncannily brilliant sleuth is not Holmes but Oscar Wilde. Wilde gets to demonstrate his Holmesian knack for discovering the telling detail to his new friend Arthur Conan Doyle, whose recent Study in Scarlet has skyrocketed him to fame. The mystery that engages Wilde is the murder of a 16-year-old artists' model and male prostitute, Billy Wood (whose demise was the inspiration for The Portrait of Dorian Gray), with whom Wilde had an appointment. Wilde discovers the naked body of the model in the middle of a squalid flat; when he, enlisting Doyle as witness, returns later, the scene has been entirely cleaned and the body removed. This mystery is fascinating on several levels: for its plotting, which quickly ensnares the reader; for its ring of absolute authenticity (it's clear that Brandreth is an expert on Wilde and his writings); but, most of all, for the portrait Brandreth provides of a truly complex character, as entertaining as he is controversial. The setting is Victorian England, during the time of the Ripper murders. The narrator, taking a cue from Dr. Watson, is a friend of Wilde's, whose journals, previously unpublished, now see the light of day. This is the first in a projected series, and it is a first-class stunner. -- Fletcher, Connie (Reviewed 11-01-2007) (Booklist, vol 104, number 5, p29)
  • Oscar Wilde makes a stylish sleuth in this clever series debut from Brandreth, a British author best known as a biographer (John Gielgud: An Actor's Life , etc.). Narrating the tale from his old age, poet Robert Sherard enjoys recalling the summer of 1889, when his friend Wilde was still celebrated and happily married. After discovering the butchered body of handsome young Billy Wood, Wilde fetches Sherard and his new friend Arthur Conan Doyle, but upon returning to the scene, they find neither body nor blood. Wilde and Sherard urge charismatic Scotland Yard Det. Insp. Aidan Fraser to investigate, but without concrete evidence, Fraser refuses to act until another murder occurs. Undeterred, Wilde interviews suspects from Wood's stepfather to his pimp, and sets a trap that helps reveal the truth. Brandreth blends history and invention, integrates a nicely complex solution with entertaining subplots and delivers the whole in witty, precise prose. This tale should please readers partial to period mysteries, literary heroes and deft writing. (Jan.) --Staff (Reviewed October 8, 2007) (Publishers Weekly, vol 254, issue 40, p38)
  • In 1889 London, writer Oscar Wilde finds the corpse of a male artist's model in a house used by men for assignations. Wilde later returns with friends Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle, but the body has vanished, the room cleaned, and the police declare that nothing has happened. While skirting Wilde's predilection for young men, Brandreth, a BBC broadcaster and novelist, spins a tale of human frailty and self-preservation. The crime's solution is somewhat apparent, but this first title in a projected trilogy is still a promising start. [The publisher is issuing a limited-edition hardcover for libraries: ISBN . $24.—Ed.] --Jo Ann Vicarel (Reviewed November 1, 2007) (Library Journal, vol 132, issue 18, p48)
  • When the police drag their heels investigating the murder of a beautiful boy of the streets, his friend Oscar Wilde is compelled to solve the crime.Wilde confidant and biographer Robert Sherard, who tells the tale, begins with the historic meeting of Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, a rising literary star who's just published A Study in Scarlet. Wilde dazzles the duo with the harrowing tale of his discovery of the corpse of teenage beauty Billy Wood in a remote flat on the previous afternoon. When all three rush to the scene, they find no body but traces of blood on the wall. Wilde expertly examines the evidence and launches into one of several Holmesian flights of deduction. In consequence, Doyle urges Wilde to consult a policeman friend, Aidan Fraser. The young Scotland Yard inspector listens intently and promises to follow up. When he fails to do so, Wilde becomes obsessed and unsuccessfully scours the city for clues. (Indeed, Sherard considers the possibility that Wilde has been mistaken or is exaggerating.) The case seems to be languishing until the Wildes' Christmas dinner is disrupted by the arrival of a package containing Billy's head. A piquant subplot finds Sherard falling in love with Fraser's fiance Veronica. Brandreth (Philip and Elizabeth, 2005, etc.) captures Wilde's frothy joie de vivre and develops this first installment of a proposed trilogy with color and aplomb. (Kirkus Reviews, December 1, 2007)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
211246
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1948-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Brandreth, Gyles Daubeney
Index
no index present
Literary form
non fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
Series statement
Oscar Wilde murder mysteries
Series volume
0001
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Wilde, Oscar
  • Doyle, Arthur Conan
  • Murder
  • London (England)
Label
Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance, Gyles Brandreth
Instantiates
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
347 p.
Isbn
9781416551744
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o187987733
  • (OCoLC)187987733
Label
Oscar Wilde and a death of no importance, Gyles Brandreth
Publication
Dimensions
22 cm.
Extent
347 p.
Isbn
9781416551744
System control number
  • (Sirsi) o187987733
  • (OCoLC)187987733

Library Locations

    • A. Mitchell Powell Jr. BranchBorrow it
      25 Hospital Road, Newnan, GA, 30263, US
      33.387732 -84.816797

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