Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance: Summary and book reviews of Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance by Gyles Brandreth, plus links to an excerpt from Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance and a biography of Gyles Brandreth.
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance
by Gyles Brandreth
Hardcover: Jan 2008,
Paperback: Jan 2008,
Lovers of historical mystery will relish this chilling Victorian tale based on real events and cloaked in authenticity. Best of all, it casts British literature's most fascinating and controversial figure as the lead sleuth.
A young artist's model has been murdered, and legendary wit Oscar Wilde enlists his friends Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Sherard to help him investigate. But when they arrive at the scene of the crime they find no sign of the gruesome killing -- save one small spatter of blood, high on the wall. Set in London, Paris, Oxford, and Edinburgh at the height of Queen Victoria's reign, here is a gripping eyewitness account of Wilde's secret involvement in the curious case of Billy Wood, a young man whose brutal murder served as the inspiration for The Picture of Dorian Gray. Told by Wilde's contemporary -- poet Robert Sherard -- this novel provides a fascinating and evocative portrait of the great playwright and his own "consulting detective," Sherlock Holmes creator, Arthur Conan Doyle.
(Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance was first published in the UK as Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders.)
Mystery fans of deductive reasoning will appreciate this first book in the series, especially knowing that there will be eight more opportunities to enjoy Oscar Wilde as amateur sleuth. (Reviewed by Vy Armour).
Although married and the father of two children, Wilde's intimate association
with Alfred Douglas
led to his trial on charges of homosexuality (illegal in Britain in 1895). Wilde
was sentenced to two years hard labor for the crime of sodomy. In spite of his
fame as a successful playwright including The Importance of Being Earnest
(1895) and A Woman of No Importance (1893) he died penniless in 1900 in a
cheap hotel in Paris at the age of 46. More about Wilde at the
website owned by
Worldwide, who appear to have a thriving business protecting the
intellectual property rights of dead celebrities!
In The Death of No Importance, Oscar Wilde makes reference to Dr. Thomas
Holmes, often referred to as the father of modern embalming. A medical student
in the 1840's, Holmes developed
a solution which was manufactured commercially, selling for $3.00 per gallon.
During the Civil War, Dr. Holmes claimed to have embalmed 4028 Union soldiers
and officers so that the remains could be shipped...
A brilliant blend of traditional (Sherlock)Holmesian myth, startling originality, complex plotting, and unforgettable characters set against a fully realized early-twentieth-century world.
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