Friday, March 6, 2009
OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH
TITLE: OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH
AUTHOR: GYLES BRANDRETH
Details: no. 2 Oscar Wilde mystery
Gyles Brandreth is obviously a huge fan of Oscar Wilde's as well as very knowledgeable about his subject. And he honours this subject by writing an intelligent mystery that is also filled with lots of historical detail and and wit. Reading this book makes for a very satisfying experience.
In a way you could blame Oscar Wilde for the murders in this story, although it starts innocently enough. During a dinner party attended by Oscar, Robert Sherard (the narrator of the story), Arthur Conan Doyle and 11 other male guests, Oscar suggests a game during which each of them has to write down the name of the person they would like to see murdered.
Innocent as the game appears, it soon turns serious as one by one the mentioned victims indeed start dying. And this time Oscar has a more serious reason than just curiosity to solve the mystery, as his name is on the list and not getting to the bottom of the case will turn him into the next victim.
My only regret when I'm reading these books is that I don't know quite enough about the period to recognize all of the real historical figures, although I do get most of them. Then again, maybe it's just as well, since the real characters couldn't be the murderer, now could they?