X5-494's Reviews > Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders

Oscar Wilde and the Candlelight Murders by Gyles Brandreth
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's review
Jul 31, 12

Recommended for: Priscila Pesce L. De Oliveira
read count: 1

This book constantly compares Oscar Wilde and his nearly unbearable sidekick and – to my dismay – narrator of the story Robert Sherard to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson. Well, maybe “constantly” is too strong a word, especially since Arthur Conan Doyle – the one in this book, (hopefully) not the one in real life – actually wanted to base MYCROFT Holmes on Oscar Wilde, but the similarities, or want-to-be-similarities, in writing style and setting and such can’t be ignored.

Which pissed me off in no small amount, because I love ACD’s Sherlock Holmes stories and Dr. Watson, and Robert Sherard can’t even begin to hope he’s a match, since he’s utterly unlikable.

Not that Oscar Wilde is more likable. Well… okay. A little bit. But his views on the world in general, and on women and marriage in particular, are… I don’t even know what they are. Demeaning, most probably. Deprecative, too.

Anyway. Since I don’t have to agree with Oscar Wilde’s world- and society-views (as portrayed in this book; I have no idea at all whether those were his real thoughts on these matters) and could mostly kind of ignore the (exceptionally stupid and ignorant) narrator, the story itself was quite captivating.

And I’m sounding slightly like I’m channeling my inner Mycroft all the time, but yeah.

It wasn’t exactly a bad read. I liked the “Victorian” feeling, the setting, the drama, the case… The solution, too. But it’s kind of slow-going. It takes a lot of time for the case to evolve and there are quite some lengths spent with waxing philosophically about one thing or the other. Some things were interesting, others not so much. Depends on the reader, I guess.

To make a long story short: I liked the book enough to buy the others in that “series”, but I wouldn’t recommend it to action and/or thriller fans. Readers who like crime stories ACD-style will most probably like this one, too.

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