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Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery Series #4)
     

Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery Series #4)

4.6 8
by Gyles Brandreth
 

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Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders opens in 1890, at a glamorous party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. All of London’s high society—including the Prince of Wales—are in attendance at what promises to be the event of the season. Yet Oscar Wilde is more interested in another party guest, Rex LaSalle, a young actor who claims to

Overview

Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders opens in 1890, at a glamorous party hosted by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. All of London’s high society—including the Prince of Wales—are in attendance at what promises to be the event of the season. Yet Oscar Wilde is more interested in another party guest, Rex LaSalle, a young actor who claims to be a vampire.

But the entertaining evening ends in tragedy when the duchess is found murdered—with two tiny puncture marks on her throat. Desperate to avoid scandal and panic, the Prince asks Oscar and his friend Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate the crime. What they discover threatens to destroy the very heart of the royal family. Told through diary entries, newspaper clippings, telegrams, and letters, Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders is a richly atmospheric mystery that is sure to captivate and entertain.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Brandreth stumbles in his subpar fourth mystery featuring Oscar Wilde as sleuth (after 2009's Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile). On the evening of March 13, 1890, Wilde attends a party along with the cream of English society, including the prince of Wales. The following day, the press reports that the hostess, the duchess of Albemarle, succumbed to a heart attack in her bed, but the true story is much different. The duchess's half-nude corpse was actually found in the telephone room, with numerous cuts and two fang-like punctures in her neck that could have reached her jugular. The prince of Wales taps Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate. Doyle, journalist Robert Sherard, theater manager Bram Stoker, and artist Rex LaSalle, who claims to be a vampire, take turns narrating the disjointed story, which leads to an unsatisfying conclusion. One hopes Brandreth will return to form in the next installment. (May)
Library Journal
Oscar Wilde is back in rare form in this clever and intricate mystery that brings 1890s London vibrantly to life. Wilde and his posse—Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker, among others—are introduced at a royal reception hosted by the lovely Duchess of Albemarle; alas, the Duchess dies unexpectedly later that night, two tiny puncture wounds in her neck. Vampires were all the rage back then, and Stoker's character helps provide the background information so that this makes perfectly good sense. In Brandreth's fourth series entry (after Oscar Wilde and the Dead's Man Smile), he writes in an engaging tell-all style that sheds a bright light on the sexual and social mores of the period. VERDICT Great stuff for readers who love juicy historical tidbits and are intrigued by real writers acting as amateur sleuths. The multiple points of view propel the plot forward at a lively pace, never bogging down with information dumps. Perhaps your Matthew Pearl readers have started on this series?
Kirkus Reviews

The fourth entry in an over-the-top Victorian mystery series, starring the ever-so-rakish Oscar Wilde.

British aristocracy must have a remarkable amount of free time, judging from the output of author, TV personality and former Member of Parliament Brandreth (Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile, 2009, etc.). Here the novelist continues to mine the bons mots of the 19th century's most rebellious iconoclast. Like its predecessor, this story is stitched together from the fictional memoirs of Wilde's biographer Robert Sherard, and punctuated with letters, telegrams and notes scribbled on the backs of cocktail napkins. Eventually, Brandreth provides a rousing, if overly convoluted, tale of detectives, murderers and royalty. Prefaced by a superfluous interlude between Sherard and Wilde over absinthe in Paris circa 1900, the novel picks up 10 years earlier in London at a reception hosted by The Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. It's there that Robert and Oscar meet the intriguing actor Rex LaSalle, who claims to be a vampire. "Iced champagne is your drink of choice: blood is mine," the actor purrs. "Have you ever tasted blood, Mr. Wilde? Fresh blood, blood that is warm to the tongue? Human blood." Oscar doesn't miss a beat. "No," says Wilde. "The wine list at my club is dreadfully limited."It's in this vein, so to speak, that Brandreth continues apace, as the Duchess is found dead in her velvet evening gown, with punctures on her throat. Ever fearful of gossip and rumor among the bourgeoisie, the Prince of Wales (later King Edward VII) requests a restrained investigation by Wilde and his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, already famous for creating Sherlock Holmes. Fans of Victorian popular literature will love the overstuffed plot, which tosses in everyone from Bram Stoker to Antonín Dvorák for good measure. Others may find their capacity for Brandreth's gas-lit humor is limited by their appreciation for his extravagant literary toy box.

A witty, if wildly implausible jaunt into the boys' clubs of a different age.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439153680
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
05/03/2011
Series:
Oscar Wilde Mystery Series , #4
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
400
Sales rank:
341,913
Product dimensions:
5.10(w) x 7.98(h) x 0.88(d)

Meet the Author

Gyles Brandreth is a prominent BBC broadcaster, theatre producer, novelist, and biographer. He has written bestselling biographies of Britain’s royal family and an acclaimed diary of his years as a member of Parliament. Visit OscarWildeMurderMysteries.net.

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Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders 4.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 7 reviews.
harstan More than 1 year ago
In 1890 the elite of English aristocratic society attend a party hosted by Duchess Albemarle. The next day, the news reported the Duchess died over night from a heart attack. In fact the press was fed false information to avoid a panic. Albemarle was found in the telephone room partially naked with cuts all over her body and two puncture holes in the jugular vein area. The Prince of Wales directs fellow attendees Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate the murder discreetly to prevent a scandal. While reporter Robert Sherard makes inquires as he believes the media has been duped, the two writers encounter theater manager Bram Stoker and artist Rex LaSalle who insists he is a vampire. The latest Oscar Wilde late Victorian investigation is an engaging whodunit but the rotating perspective makes the story line more difficult to follow than the previous mysteries (see Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile, and Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder). Wilde and Doyle are a fascinating match-up as two witty writers who have a different vision of Victorian England. They make the tale fun in spite of the seemingly unnecessary complicated changes in viewpoint. Harriet Klausner
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Engrossing and entertaining
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