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Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol

(The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #6)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  524 ratings  ·  92 reviews
In OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL, the sixth in Gyles Brandreth's acclaimed Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries series featuring Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle, Reading Gaol's most famous prisoner is pitted against a ruthless and fiendishly clever serial killer. 'Intelligent, amusing and entertaining' Alexander McCall Smith It is 1897, Dieppe. Oscar Wilde, poet, ...more
Hardcover, 384 pages
Published October 2012 by John Murray
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Feb 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical-crime
This is probably the hardest reads of the Oscar Wilde as detective novels I have read.

This is because the book is mostly set during Wilde's incarceration at Reading Gaol after being found guilty under the UK's oppressive male sexual crimes acts.

Gyles Brandreth pulls no punches and the picture he paints of the British penal system in the 1890s is vile and stomach turning.

The crimes, however, are inventive and clever, and ameliorate the distress of the story's background.

I do like the fact that Br
Roger Kean
Mar 25, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The wonderful conceit that Arthur Conan Doyle based his fictional sleuth Sherlock Holmes on Oscar Wilde (Conan Doyle, of course, being Watson) has given Gyles Brandreth a marvellous sheet on which to create a brilliant series, both from the mysteries and the Wildean wit, of which surely Brandreth is the only author capable of matching the legend. The previous five books sparkled with a light touch which is less noticeable in The Murders at Reading Gaol, although there are some laughs and disgrac ...more
Wendy Hines
Jul 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
In the latest installment of the Oscar Wilde novels, and the last, Brandreth outdoes himself with such a stellar novel!

Oscar Wilde tells his tale of what happened while he was incarcerated in the prison of Reading Gaol for just over two years. In fact, everything that transpires is gritty and gripping. I couldn't stop turning the pages, so enthralled was I with Wilde's story - one he tells after his release.

While he's spending his time, Wilde's clever detective skills are put to use when a ward
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I am not familiar with Oscar Wilde or that there was a book series about him. I was just intrigued by the pure premise of this book. Then when I got the book, even before opening it I started to have second thoughts about it.

Well like they say, you can not judge a book by its cover. This book was way better then I thought it would be. I started it at night thinking it would help me get to sleep quicker. It had the opposite effect. I actually had to put it down so that I could get some sleep. It
Dec 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
A fitting finale for this wonderfully-written series, where Oscar moves beyond Holmes to take on shades of Poirot. This is a much darker, more narrowly focussed narrative than the other books in the series, where the characters become all-important. Oscar's ordeal illuminates the nature of punishment and the place of respect in human relationships. Oscar solves the puzzle and saves himself and others by pure intellect. I did see the solution because it was supremely logical, but that did nothing ...more
Patricia Fawcett
Oct 31, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is the final book in Gyles Brandreth's excellent series of novels with Oscar Wilde as the protagonist. Against the backdrop of Oscar's fall from grace and inprisonment, murders occur within the confines of prison; initially at Pentonville, finally at Reading Gaol. Oscar is prevailed upon to assist in the investigations. Gyles Brandeth's narrative twists and turns, back-project the action from dialogue between two men who meet 'by chance' in France following Oscar's release from prison. The ...more
May 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Curiosity and my love for Oscar Wilde made me pick up this book. Didn't think anyone could write in his voice. I was totally and pleasantly surprised. What a wonderful read! Mr. Brandreth does an outstanding job of placing the reader in a Victorian England prison and inside Mr. Wilde's mind with wonderful unexpected turns. I can't wait to read the rest of the series.
Neil Schleifer
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
Gyles Brandreth's sixth book in this series of historical fiction mysteries is amazing on multiple counts. First, as historical fiction Brandreth provides an exhaustively comprehensive look at what the British penal system was like at the turn of the twentieth century. Next, tonally Brandreth hits the mark spot-on with his ability to recreate the voice and persona of Wilde as well as those who surround him. This novel, set in the aftermath of Wilde's imprisonment for "gross indecency," finds a d ...more
Susan Wight
Gyles Brendreth's Oscar series is fun, its original and gives a good evocation of the time. In most of the books he takes the voice of Robert Sherard, a friend and first biographer of Wilde. He uses the voice of Sherard to create Sherlock Holmes type mysteries with Oscar as the detective. It sounds a bit far fetched, but it works in quite a delightful way. Half the fun is spotting the real Oscar-isms along the way.

In this book, Brandreth takes it one step further and has the audacity to assume
Jul 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This mystery has an even darker tone than the others as it deals with Oscar's imprisonment and although he is trying to work out a series of murders perpetrated during his incarceration there is a feeling he has given up and totally despondent with life and at this period you hear next to nothing of Doyle and Sherard.
A very exciting tale of murders happening in such a confined area but at the same time there is also a sense of hopelessness and bleakness on the part of Oscar who seems to have ha
A library blindfind, hadn't known about the series but the cover caught my attention. I read it on derby vacation in Seattle and it was a lovely travel story - whimsy, grit, lamented passions, investigative intrigue, and stalwart panache. Historically attentive, Brandreth cites sources and provides additional information to the precise locations and texts mentioned in the books which contributed to the immersive environment of the story. I'd read more of the series to be certain. Wild for Wilde
Diane Warrington
There seem to a lot of 4 and 5 star results for this novel. However, I found there were 2 stories here which didn't quite mesh. One is the story of his incarceration and the horrors of the penal system in England in Victorian times. The hypocrisy is all too evident. The way that Wilde dealt with the privations of silence and isolation were worth reading. The other story of the murders are threaded through the main story but feel like a distraction to me.
Nov 08, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oscar Wilde And The Murders At Reading Gaol

While in prison serving two years hard labour after his trial at The Old Bailey, Oscar Wilde is at his lowest. But before long Oscar is investigating murder within the Gaol.
This is another marvellous Oscar Wilde mystery by Giles Brandreth with a twist at the end you will never see coming.
Highly recommended.
A. Lieberson
Apr 12, 2020 rated it liked it
At first the book to seem very slow spending most of the time on solitude, bad food and no contact with anyone. But the plot was much better when Oscar heard Private Luck whisper to him. Two murdrs take place and the Govenor wants Oscar Wilde to solve them. The story is being told by Wilde to a stranger in Paris after he has served his two years in prison.
Ro Prufrock
at first i was like: "how dare u write about Oscar in the first person? what is this? why aren't MY fanfics published with such beautiful - so!! pretty!! - covers?" but then i got over my envy & actually really enjoyed this book. will definitely read the other ones from the series!! ...more
Judith Gunn
Feb 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book is grand fun. It gives Wilde something to do while he is serving out his sentence for having a romantic relationship with another man. He is a witness to multiple murders and figures out who did them. The answer is quite shocking; I won't give anything away.
Jul 30, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book I've read in this series and I'm so happy to say it didn't disappoint! Beautifully written and keeps you hooked all the way through
Jun 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Oscar Wilde what a geezer.
Jim Dunn
Apr 16, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fitting finale - the best of the set
April Oh
May 17, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Fascinating story, very historical, captivating. Read this very easily and couldn't put it down. Second book by this author and I'm ready for more!!
Barbara Cromer
Jul 20, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Sad but a completely absorbing story of Wilde's ending years and an interesting fictional story too.
Oct 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2013
Oscar Wilde, Detective

Once again, I’ve jumped into the middle of a mystery series—this time the Oscar Wilde mysteries by Gyles Brandreth. I requested (and received) a review copy of the sixth book in the series, Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Goal. I figured Oscar Wilde, mystery novel, free ebook—that’s a chance worth taking. And I was right.

This book is largely set in (no surprise) Reading Goal, where Wilde spent the majority of his two-year sentence for gross indecency. (There’s a whol
Feb 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned, mystery, writers, 2017
The sixth of the Brandreth Oscar Wilde murder mysteries, this is in many ways my favourite. That is, I suppose, because for me these books have been more about Brandreth's re-creation of Wilde's voice and milieu, and the murder mystery in each has been secondary. So this novel, which takes place during and just after Wilde's brutal incarceration for homosexuality, is enormously satisfying in its evocation of time and place, even though, by necessity, we lose Conan Doyle as a character, and also ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The beginning of this last book was so very promising of a rare brilliant book. It didn't manage it or live up to expectations as the start had so faithfully promised. The recommend books were: Richard Ellman (sadly, for he was complete liar), The Complete Letters (one wonders how close at hand his edition was?) and Franny Moyle (same as the letters). If he had read Franny Moyle's book on Constance Wilde he would have noted that it wasn't a fall on the stairs that brought her low or the fact she ...more
Hana Howard
May 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol
Gyles Brandreth

This is the most terrifying novel in the Oscar Wilde series. In Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol, the reader is guided by Mr. Wilde’s own narrative through the havoc of his darkest years. It is his own account of what occurred during the 25 months between May 1895 and June 25 1897, as told after his release to the strange Dr. Quilp. This book lacks the whimsical atmosphere of the previous books. It grips the reader with an inte
Nancy McKibben
Jul 07, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: readers who like mysteries set in Victorian England (especially literary ones)
Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol
By Gyles Brandreth

Oscar Wilde, compelled by author Gyles Brandreth, has joined the ranks of dead authors turned into detectives (he has fortunately thus far escaped being turned into a zombie or vampire hunter.) While this isn’t my favorite sub-genre, wonderful things can happen in the hands of the right author. I have always loved Wilde the writer and pitied Wilde the man, the genius who was the darling of Victorian society until he was disgraced and d
Tex Reader
3.0 of 5 - Interesting & Involving, Yet Different in a Dreary Way.

I love a good gay historical mystery, especially with Oscar Wilde on the case; and while this was interesting, it was also a bit disappointing. That was partly just me not getting what I expected or hoped for, since I enjoyed the first in this series. By this sixth one, Gyles Brandreth departed from his formula with a darker setting that was not as much about a mystery as about Wilde’s imprisonment.

Brandreth told the story from Os
Michelle L
Jul 16, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Mystery fans, literary buffs, history buffs, over-15s
Victorian mysteries aren't my preferred sub-genre, but Brandreth cleverly tells this story in Wilde's educated voice, with his aesthetic values, so nothing twee here, nor smotheringly Gothic, those two banes of Victoriana most authors seem to revel in. This is so well-conceived and stylishly told that I cannot believe I never heard of this series until stumbling across it while desperately searching a local e-library for something to fill time. And did it ever! I am almost certain that very few ...more
Jun 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol is the sixth book in a series of Victorian murder mysteries featuring Oscar Wilde and his circle of acquaintances, family, and foes. But it is not necessary to read any of the previous books. In fact, all books in the series can be read at any order.

Author Gyles Brandreth has successfully recreated Oscar Wilde as a charming, intelligent, and highly charming rogue with plenty of wit who loves life, and has lived well because of his great writing succes
Gloria Feit
Sep 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
In previous entries in this series Oscar Wilde acted as the detective and Arthur Conan Doyle the role of Dr. Watson. In this novel, Conan Doyle is present only by reference, while Oscar Wilde occupies the entire plot since it really is biographical, beginning with his incarceration for two years at hard labor, and describes the horrors of the English penal system at that time. Whatever mystery is to be solved is left for an astonishing ending.

The novel begins with Oscar Wilde, having fled Englan
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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

Other books in the series

The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries (7 books)
  • Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance
  • Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death
  • Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile (The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, #3)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Vampire Murders (Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, #4)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders (The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #5)
  • Jack the Ripper: Case Closed

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