August, 1889. Oscar Wilde, poet, playwright, wit and raconteur, chances on the mutilated corpse of a sixteen-year-old boy in a candlelit room in one of the back streets of Westminster. In fin-de-siecle London and Paris, with the help of fellow author Arthur Conan Doyle, Wilde sets out to unravel the mystery of Billy Wood ..... and the bizarre deaths that follow in its wake.
..... Outer back cover.
MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 296): ..... was an elderly gentleman who appeared to have wandered into the room from the pages of a book of eccentric fairytales. He wad Dore's painting of Rumplestiltskin with Tenniel's drawing of the White Knight in Through The Looking-Glass.
MY THOUGHTS: In many ways but not all (I certainly worked out whodunit three quarters of the way through) a ripping yarn of a murder mystery with a romantic sub-plot.
Extremely witty and full of delightfully quirky characters (but then I wouldn't have expected anything less from its author who, a writer, broadcaster and former Member of Parliament, is one of Britain's most sought after after-dinner speakers ) Oscar Wilde And the Candlelight Murders (the first in what I believe to be a series of six books) is so meticulously researched that at times it reads almost like a biography - the relationship between Wilde and his wife, Constance, I thought particularly illuminating, the period details vivid, the nods to the literature, to the culture, of the time very clever and the ideas surrounding homosexuality before there even was such a word (at one point in the story the term 'musical' is used) fascinating.
Not a book that will to be to everyone's taste of that I'm certain, even now I'm not totally convinced that instead of starring a fictionalised Oscar Wilde the novel wouldn't have been just as good a read with a Wilde-type character who possessed a similar amount of wit and charisma.
KEEP IT OR NOT?: Enjoyable to read once though alas not one for the shelves.
Please note: All original content on http://pettywitter.blogspot.co.uk/ is created by the website owner, including but not limited to text, design, code, images, photographs and videos are considered to be the Intellectual Property of the website owner, whether copyrighted or not, and are protected by DMCA Protection Services using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act Title 17 Chapter 512 (c)(3). Reproduction or re-publication of this content is prohibited without permission.
In addition I would also urge that if you are reading this on any other page you contact the original blog owner/reviewer.