Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders : Oscar Wilde Mystery: 1, Paperback Book

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders : Oscar Wilde Mystery: 1 Paperback

Part of the Oscar Wilde Mystery series

3.5 out of 5 (4 ratings)


In OSCAR WILDE AND THE CANDLELIGHT MURDERS, the first in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, the brutal murder of a young rent-boy puts Oscar in grave danger... 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith London, 1889.

Oscar Wilde, celebrated poet, wit, playwright and raconteur is the literary sensation of his age.

All Europe lies at his feet. Yet when he chances across the naked corpse of sixteen-year-old Billy Wood, posed by candlelight in a dark, stifling attic room, he cannot ignore the brutal murder.

With the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle he sets out to solve the crime - but it is Wilde's unparalleled access to all degrees of late Victorian life, from society drawing rooms and the bohemian demi-monde to the underclass, that will prove the decisive factor in their investigation of what turns out to be a series of brutal killings.

The Oscar Wilde Murders is a gripping detective story of corruption and intrigue, of Wilde's growing success, of the breakdown of his marriage, and of his fatal friendship with Aidan Fraser, Inspector at Scotland Yard...

Set against the exotic background of fin-de-siecle London, Paris, Oxford and Edinburgh, Gyles Brandreth recreates Oscar Wilde's trademark sardonic wit with huge flair, intertwining all the intrigue of the classic English murder mystery with a compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton General Division
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: Historical mysteries
  • ISBN: 9780719569302

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Showing 1 - 4 of 4 reviews.

Review by

A mystery with Oscar Wilde as a rather poor imitation of Sherlock Holmes. Doesn't work very well either as a mystery or as a Oscare Wilde story though it is occasionally fun to read.

Review by

This started off very well, with the discovery by Oscar Wilde of the dead body of a boy on the first page.  With Wilde as the central character, playing at being Sherlock Holmes and occassionally sparring with Arthur Conan Doyle, this was full of witty lines and laugh out loud moments.  However, I thought it sagged in the middle and became a bit irritating - would even a group of litterateurs laugh over a drink in a club while holding a severed head in a box?  A dramatic ending, though. An engaging read, but a bit superficial, not sure if I will read the others in the series. 4/5

Review by

An enjoyable late Victorian murder-mystery from the one time star of breakfast television and "Countdown". Using Oscar Wilde as his amateur sleuth gives Brandreth the opportunity of raiding the many witty quotations from this colourful historical figure, and it is an opportunity he seizes with both hands. His own lively writing style also held my attention.Given my historical background, I am often uneasy about fictional representations of real people. They leave me curious about how much is based on fact, and how much has been dreamt up by the author. I will now have to read more about Wilde to distinguish one from the other. I should probably read some of his own work whilst I am at it.Brandreth was a Tory MP from 1992 to 1997, which led me to wonder if he was having a bit of fun at the expense of some of his political opponents by using as address in Cowley Street as the scene of the crime. Cowley Street, though not number 23 where the murder occurs, houses the head quarters of the Liberal Democrats.

Review by

Well-written murder-mystery, with Oscar Wilde becoming detective to solve the bizarre murder of a beautiful young man. Rich in Victorian detail and Oscar's amusing sayings. And I didn't see the twist coming.