Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery Series #5) by Gyles Brandreth, Paperback | Barnes & Noble
Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery Series #5)
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Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (Oscar Wilde Mystery Series #5)

4.4 5
by Gyles Brandreth
     
 

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Oscar Wilde makes a triumphant return to sleuthing in the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed historical murder mystery series based on real events, featuring Wilde as the detective aided by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, and written by a premier British biographer.

Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders opens in 1892, as an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle

Overview

Oscar Wilde makes a triumphant return to sleuthing in the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed historical murder mystery series based on real events, featuring Wilde as the detective aided by his friend Arthur Conan Doyle, and written by a premier British biographer.

Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders opens in 1892, as an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle retires to a spa in Germany with a suitcase full of fan mail. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries among the letters—a finger; a lock of hair; and, finally, an entire severed hand.

The trail leads the intrepid duo to Rome, and to a case that involves miracles as well as murder. Pope Pius IX has just died—these are uncertain times in the Eternal City. To uncover the mystery and discover why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Wilde and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church and expose the deadly secrets of the six men closest to the pope.

In Gyles Brandreth’s captivating and richly atmospheric novel, Wilde’s skills as a detective are put to the test in his most compelling case yet.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Arthur Conan Doyle plays Watson to Oscar Wilde in Brandreth’s strong fifth whodunit featuring Wilde as a Holmesian sleuth (after 2011’s Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders). In July 1892, Holmes’s creator runs into his friend Wilde while on holiday in a German spa town. Doyle is beside himself because of the many letters to his creation that his publisher insists must be acknowledged in writing. Wilde volunteers to help cull the correspondence, and in the process makes a grisly find—a human hand cut cleanly off at the wrist. The Rome postmark leads the pair to seek out other mail from the same sender and to the discovery of a human finger addressed to Holmes. Since the ring on the severed digit bears the pope’s symbols, Wilde and Doyle travel to Rome, where they learn the ring was previously owned by a priest suspected of murder. The mystery is more engaging than the previous book’s, even if the solution isn’t Brandreth’s cleverest. Agent: Ed Victor, Ed Victor Ltd. (May)
Library Journal
In Brandreth's fourth engaging historical (after Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders), Wilde meets up with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and both are summoned to Rome. A well-crafted mix of the real-life and fictional by a Wilde scholar.
Kirkus Reviews
When someone sends the creator of a legendary sleuth a severed hand, the game is afoot! After a rhapsodic 1877 letter from Oscar Wilde to his devoted mother concerning the wonders of Rome, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle sets out to narrate the tale in chief, beginning 15 years later at a Homburg spa. Doyle is flush with success, Wilde decidedly less so, though critically celebrated, and the duo enjoys a friendly, albeit barbed rivalry. Oscar relishes the region's sensuous delights, but for Doyle this will be a working vacation. He brings an Everest of fan mail to answer, clearly triggering Wilde's envy. Inside one package, postmarked Rome, they find a severed hand. Another, smaller package from Rome contains a finger, which they at first mistake for a cigar. Doyle advises proceeding carefully, but Wilde, with brio, convinces him to "act recklessly." Indeed, a delightfully dangerous adventure may be just what the doctor ordered for the weary Doyle. So it's off to Rome. On the lengthy train ride, the pair shares confidences from their past and meet nervous Martin Sadler and his effervescent sister Irene (a name that should be familiar to fans of Sherlock Holmes). Tea at the Vatican with the influential circolo inglese proves a turning point in the mystery, which involves precious jewels and deceased Pontiffs. Brandreth's fifth Oscar Wilde caper (Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders, 2011, etc.) floats on a cushion of bubbly banter and droll period references. The whole series is literary escapism of a high order, though with each episode the mystery seems to recede further in importance.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781439153734
Publisher:
Touchstone
Publication date:
05/08/2012
Series:
Oscar Wilde Mystery Series, #5
Edition description:
Original
Pages:
368
Sales rank:
320,938
Product dimensions:
7.90(w) x 5.20(h) x 0.80(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.

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Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders: A Mystery 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
tedfeit0 More than 1 year ago
Sherlock Holmes had his Dr. Watson, and in this series (in which this novel is the fifth entry) Oscar Wilde invariably plays the detective while Dr. Arthur Conan Doyle plays the foil. This role reversal allows the author to make many witty observations and create unexpected plot situations. Unlike Holmes, however, Wilde is not particularly analytical but more intuitive, making great leaps of faith in drawing conclusions. The story begins with Conan Doyle traveling to England so he can concentrate on answering a ton of mail addressed to Sherlock Holmes which he has been unable to take care of at home. And who does he meet when he arrives at his hotel but his good friend Wilde, who is there to lose weight by “taking the waters.” But any excuse is a port in an unwelcome storm, so Wilde volunteers to assist Conan Doyle in his effort to weed through the letters. No sooner do they begin than a man’s mummified right hand is found in one envelope. And then a finger, obviously from another hand, in another. On that finger is a distinctive gold ring with intertwined fish etched on the inside, the symbol of the Vatican. A third envelope is found to contain a lock of hair. The postmark on all three envelopes is Rome. So much for the rest cure, as off the pair goes to the Eternal City to solve the mystery. Once again, the author has written an enjoyable historical piece, filled with clever observations and droll comments, peppering the prose with crisp Wilde prose and poetry while moving a Sherlock Holmes mystery forward. This is really a delightful series, and well worth reading. Recommended.
glensie More than 1 year ago
These series of mysteries are a fun read and make great gifts
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