Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery
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Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder: A Mystery (The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #2)

3.78 of 5 stars 3.78  ·  rating details  ·  809 ratings  ·  109 reviews
The second witty installment in an astonishingly authentic historical mystery series featuring detective Oscar Wilde and his partner in crime, Arthur Conan Doyle

It's 1892, and Wilde is the toast of London, riding high on the success of his play Lady Windemere's Fan. While celebrating with friends at a dinner party he conjures up a game called "murder" that poses the ques...more
Paperback, 392 pages
Published September 9th 2008 by Touchstone (first published 2008)
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In this installment, we see Oscar turning from effervescent to snarky. His flaws are more revealed, and yet you love him more as a man for it. The mystery is much darker, more complex, and there is a host of more character to know and love.
Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death is so amazingly good, I could not put it down, hence finishing it over 4 days. I do not know much about Oscar Wilde's life apart from the obvious facts, but this story has given me such an insight into his character and his world. I love the way Oscar is portrayed as a highly respected man with a great mind and such a way with people as to make them love him more, he also has this ability to predict what is to happen next, simply by being so observant and mindfu...more
This is a very structured mystery, complete with seating plans at two parallel dinners (beginning and end) and a grid. Nonetheless, it is not mechanical, and the motivations for the various murders and possible murders are driven by character, and though implausible, not impossible. The Wilde / Conan Doyle friendship - implausible in itself, given their wildly different characters - is very well drawn. The Marquis of Queensberry and his boxing rules have a large part to play in this one, and the...more
A.E. Marling
If you've ever entertained the desire to hobnob with Oscar Wilde, this book is for you. Though I found the mystery engaging and at times intense, the book revolves around the fop playwright and his friends having luncheon, drinking, and smoking. And what friends they are! The straight-laced Arthur Conan Doyle complains about Sherlock Holmes, hoping that character isn't all people will remember him by. Bram Stoker booms his laugh. And the adorable but potential-sociopath Bosie holds Wilde in his...more
I had been looking forward to this book ever since I had finished the first one, Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders.

At the risk of sound like Oscar, sadly, the journey is so often much more fun than the terminus. Where the first book captured me with with its sparkle this one bored me rather than entertained.

While Brandreth does a good job of taking one on a tour of fin de siecle London (with a map, no less, this time!) and introduces us to many interesting characters, real-life ones and in...more
One of the many horrors of Christmas is being bought books which those who understand you very poorly think you might enjoy. This was just such a volume. If you're the sort of person who calls a quotation 'a quote', or who buys a fridge magnet with a 'saying' of Oscar Wilde on it ('I can resist everything except a handbag'), you'll love it. I found it lazy and opportunistic. Needless to say, all the best lines are Wilde's - when Brandreth pastiches him, the results are rather like my 7 year old...more
Since I came out in college, I began to relate strongly to the great Oscar Wilde and his aesthetic values, including his famed self-indulgence and queer identity. And that is why I was startled to encounter this book where the author used said historical and literary figure as his detective protagonist.

The Ring of Death was quite an entertaining novel that has left me impressed at first because of the incorporation of Wilde into the mystery, and bewildered by the climax and resolution. It takes...more
Gyles Brandreth writes beautifully.
This particular book which reminded me somewhat
of Agatha Christie's 'Ten Little Indians', I
found didn't quite match up to his earlier books.
Some of the plot was a wee bit 'far-fetched', and
at other times rather predictable.
Notwithstanding, an enjoyable historical romp.
Summary: Oscar Wilde gathers a group of friends for a nice meal, that ends with a game where each chooses someone they want to murder. That same night the first of the victims dies and each night after, they die. Unfortunately Oscar is the 13th victim and his wife is the 14th. Can he find the murderer in order to save their lives?

This is a mystery featuring Oscar Wilde as a detective told from the perspective of Robert Sherard, his friend and first biographer. It is the second in the series but...more
Oscar Wilde is solving crimes while rubbing elbows with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Sherard, and in this book, Bram Stoker. What's not to like?

Once more, knowing a good deal about Oscar Wilde's life story gives more than a few sentences a somber, albeit still witty, tint, something I thoroughly enjoy. Still, even if you know nothing about Oscar Wilde, you'll feel you know a great deal about him after this. The way Brandreth captures Wilde's personality...it's pretty amazing.

The crime of this...more
Apr 15, 2009 Amy rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2009
Saw this at the library and I couldn't pass it up! I have been in a bit of a reading slump lately (as far as actual novels are concerned) and haven't been doing much reading at home, but I looked forward to my breaks at work so I could sit down with more of this book.

I quite enjoyed the mystery: Oscar and his buddies play a game over dinner where they each write down the name of the person they would most like to see dead. Then the people really start dying...one each day. Oscar is on that list,...more
Sep 30, 2012 Anna rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: anyone looking for a light read
Recommended to Anna by: Mary
I've recently been thinking about doing some light reading, since for the past weeks I've dug into my classic books stash and I wasn't sure my brain could take much more of the abuse. So I thought this book would be a perfect alternative, especially since Oscar Wilde is one of my favorite authors and characters.

I haven't read the first book in the series, partly because when I got the book I wasn't aware it existed really, but I don't think that it had much of an effect on my reading experience...more
Kristiana Alex
Detektivní román Oscar Wilde a kruh smrti je netypický především svými postavami. Přestože je mnoho románů s historickými postavami, Oscar Wilde získává jako lidská bytost úplně nový rozměr. Není to jen obyčejný spisovatel, ale manžel a otec, přítel, pozoruhodně všímavý muž a amatérský detektiv. Nevím, jestli jste někdy viděli jeho portrét, ale pro mne byl Oscar Wilde vždy romanticky atraktivní mladý muž. A najednou je to značně obtloustlý muž s povýšeneckým odporem ke všemu, co se mu zdá oškliv...more
This is the second in the series of murder mysteries starring Oscar Wilde and his friend Robert Sherard. I enjoyed this one just as much - possibly even a bit more - than I did the first.

Wilde has created The Socrates Club as a monthly get together with a group of his friends. Friends including Bram Stoker and Arthur Conan Doyle, as well as actors, politicians and members of the aristocracy. The men eat, drink, smoke and talk and at each meeting Wilde introduces some activity or game to the grou...more
Jeannie and Louis Rigod
I have found that I really enjoy historical/biographical fiction in a mystery setting. This book excelled in just that area. The reader can tell the author, Gyles Brandreth went deeply into the lives of his main characters, in this case, Oscar Wilde and his personal friends.

I was fortunate enough to get my hands upon a copy published by John Murray. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was published by John Murray and also is a main friend of Oscar's.

So, we have Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Oscar's wi...more
Detektīvi gan nav mans iemīļotais žanrs grāmtām, un pilnīgi notiekti filmas formātā šis darbs man patiktu krienti vairāk (paradokss, ka detektīvfilmas gan man daudzas patīk, romāni teju nekad.

Ideja par vienā darbā saliktiem vairākiem slaveniem rakstniekiem (bez Vailda tur ir Arturs Konans Doils un Berems Stokers)tomēr škita gana vilinoša, lai man rastos interese grāmatu izlasīt. Un tieši šie pseido-patiesie tēli arī ir grāmtas patiesais trumpis, pats noslēpums un tā risinājums manai gaumei ir pa...more
This book gets points for being a murder mystery about Oscar Wilde; I enjoyed the setting and writing. However, it didn't totally live up to its premise. Particularly, I thought the large cast of characters was established clunkily, the first-person Watson-like narrator was rather irritatingly non-present in his own life, and the murder mystery itself not particularly elegant. It also really bothered me that none of the characters, including Wilde, were particularly proactive about what appeared...more
I haven't read the first book, but that doesn't really seem to matter. This one is light and easy to read, and has a few well known people as characters: Wilde, Conan Doyle and Stoker, most notably. The narrator character isn't very distinctive -- pages sometimes seem to go by without an 'I' in the narrative, which is sometimes quite odd when the 'I' reappears.

There's not really much substance to it, and the motives seem quite thin, but it's entertaining enough to follow. Wilde is very Sherlock...more
At the monthly dinner organized by Oscar Wilde, the after dinner game is Murder. Each of the 14 dinner guests is required to write the name of the person they would most like to murder, and then the other guests will guess who chose each murder victim. When the name of one of the guests is chosen 4 times along with both Oscar Wilde and his wife, everyone decides the game has lost its charm and separates for the evening. But the next day the first person on the list dies in a fire, and then the s...more
What a refreshing read! The author obviously has an extremely in-depth knowledge of his subjects and turns what I initially thought was a rather strange (if intriguing) premise into the most entertaining general fiction novel I have read in quite some time. Oscar Wilde is turned into amateur detective in a murder mystery that keeps you guessing til the end. Although the murder mystery side was interesting and well written, for me the highlight was the insight into the everyday life and times of...more
I am a huge admirer of Oscar Wilde (and we share the same birthday!) so it was probably folly to think that a murder mystery with Oscar as the sleuth would be satisfying.

The book has lots of fun period references, many visits to the Cafe Royale and other London hotspots, as well as glimpses into the personalities of Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker---but, it still didn't "deliver" for me. I think I have too much respect for Wilde to really enjoy seeing him trot around London like Sherlock Holm...more
It lacked a certain something that A Death of No Importance had...perhaps depth of character development, plausibility of crimes/character motivations, pacing...Or perhaps it was that Brandreth showed unflattering facets of Wilde's character that led to my already growing unappreciation for ...certain aspects of his personality, especially where women and beauty are concern. Remember Vonnegut's rules for writing...always have a least one character that the reader finds sympathetic. How can we be...more
I enjoyed this book more than the first one in the series, chiefly because it tells me more about the friends of Oscar Wilde-- I did not realize that he was contemporary and friends with Bram Stoker and rubbed shoulders with members of the aristocracy; also, the book provides insight (true? hypothesized?) into the creator of Sherlock Holmes and how he found inspiration for some of his plots and characters. Many of the characters in this book were real people and the information pertaining to the...more
amelia cavendish
Jun 28, 2009 amelia cavendish rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: fans of murder mystery
I had a few issues with the first book of this series but not so with this one, the author seems to have found his stride with portraying Oscar and of course, it is mainly in a favourable light, but it also doesn't pull any punches with his flaws.

The pace is fast and I must admit that I didn't really have a clue as to who was behind the murders, and I'm still a bit mystified about the reasoning behind the murder of the parrot!

But all in all, a good book, and I'll definitely read the next, as the...more
It is an interesting and risky concept to take such a well-known identity as Oscar Wilde and create an alternate history where he moonlights as a detective, but Brandreth creates this scenario effortlessly. With a huge cast of other notables, including Bram Stoker, you are not only drawn into a murderous plot, but a sense of the era that rings true right down to the little details. The dialogue, as you would hope, sparkles along, and the mystery is suitably intriguing. I accidentally bought the...more
Monique banner
Well as a self-confessed 'Wildette', I couldnt' help but enjoy this book. It is entertaining, well writtean and interesting. I would have rated this higher were it not for the nagging feeling I got throughout that I were entertaining someone elses desire for another life. I expected more of a detective story and less on the musings of what Oscar Wilde was like and if this is anything to go by that was witty, amusing, charming, loved by all apart from those envious of his genious and well.. flawl...more
Although there are still instances of 'let me tell you something fascinating-but-unnecessary about Oscar Wilde', this was a far more enjoyable read than the first book. The plot was ingenious – quite Agatha Christie-esque, I thought – and satisfying. My biggest frustration is that despite all the descriptions, I never feel that Oscar is real. He's a collection of wonderful clothes (the bottle-green winter coat with an astrakhan collar was mercifully absent this time around) and pithy bon mots, l...more
Sep 29, 2009 Merry rated it 3 of 5 stars Recommends it for: simple mystery admirers
Recommended to Merry by: self
Historical mystery with Oscar Wilde as the main character. Wilde, along with some of his acquaintances such as Bram Stoker, are seated at a dinner table. Each guest is asked to write on a piece of paper the name of a person they wish to see dead. The mystery begins as each person named drops dead! Simple writing, witty dialogue, a light read that reminded me of a Sherlock Holmes mystery. The book's author did write a "much admired" biography of Oscar Wilde, therefore many facts in this book are...more
When an innocent game of murder (similar to Clue) turns deadly, Oscar Wilde and his companions, Robert Sherard, Arthur Conan Doyal, Wat Sickert, and Bram Stoker are there to help solve the case before time runs out. This is due to the fact that both Oscar and his wife, Constance, are on the list of victims. Luckily, Oscar has a great eye for detail and makes keen observations that exposes the murderers for who they really are before his family is put in jeapordy. This was a fun mystery to read a...more
Not my favourite of my recent murder mysteries, but still a good read with an interesting twist. My only quibble with this series is that there's a lot of what I think is quite obvious foreshadowing of Oscars future that's written in a way that jars to me - a bit like having someone sat next to you elbowing you saying "look - that's a reference to Oscar getting imprisoned" "look there's a suggestion about where Conan Doyle got a bit of plot from". I've read other books with similar nods to real...more
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Character List 1 16 Jan 25, 2010 04:20PM  
  • A Play of Knaves (Joliffe The Player Mystery, #3)
  • The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
  • The Snake Stone (Yashim the Eunuch, #2)
  • The Rhetoric of Death
  • The Bohemian Girl (Denton, #2)
  • The Illusion of Murder (Nellie Bly, #2)
  • Consequences of Sin
  • Jane and the Barque of Frailty (Jane Austen Mysteries, #9)
  • Death and the Maiden  (Liebermann Papers, #6)
  • A Broken Vessel (Julian Kestrel Mysteries, #2)
  • Hasty Death
  • Murder on the Eiffel Tower (Victor Legris, #1)
  • What Alice Knew
  • Murder Your Darlings (An Algonquin Round Table Mystery #1)
  • Always a Cold Deck (The Harry Reese Mysteries, #1)
  • Devoured
  • Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)
  • The Case of the Gypsy Good-bye (Enola Holmes Mysteries, #6)
Full name: Gyles Daubeney Brandreth.
A former Oxford Scholar, President of the Oxford Union and MP for the City of Chester, Gyles Brandreth’s career has ranged from being a Whip and Lord Commissioner of the Treasury in John Major’s government to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London’s West End. A prolific broadcaster (in programmes ranging from Just a Minute to Have I Got News f...more
More about Gyles Brandreth...
Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance: A Mystery Oscar Wilde And The Dead Man's Smile Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders: A Mystery Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #5) Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol

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