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Oscar Wilde and the Ring of Death

(The Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries #2)

3.78  ·  Rating details ·  1,390 ratings  ·  164 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 quest
Hardcover, 395 pages
Published 2008 by John Murray Publishers
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3.78  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,390 ratings  ·  164 reviews

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Apr 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Let me begin with saying that I'm the biggest fan of mystery, not romance. This book consists of nothing but mystery and drama. Not a hint of romance, of course unless you add all the pervertedness and Daubeney with his prostitutes (I know, ew). For all you Romance lovers, please head in a different direction because this book is in no way suitable for you.

I love love love (*40 more times) Oscar Wilde. He's that mix of sweet cleverness but with humor designed for philosophers. And excu
Jan 21, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: brandreth
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
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.
Apr 24, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: owned, 2012, mystery, writers
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
Jun 09, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: gay-historical
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
A.E. Marling
Jun 14, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Jun 28, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Another great title in the Oscar Wilde mystery novels.
When Oscar gives a luncheon party and plays a deadly game things take a sinister turn...
Oscar decides to invite his guests to partake of a game called "Murder" where each guest chooses absolutely anyone they feel they hate enough to want to murder, just hypothetically speaking but when some of the characters listed as the party guests choices to kill wind up mysteriously dying Oscar and his sidekicks Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle are
Nancy Cook-senn
Another complex mystery (murders in a boxing ring and in a locked house) featuring Oscar and his friends, Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Sherard, Bram Stoker, Willing Hornung, Wat Sickert, and various others including The Marquess of Queensberry and actor Charles Brookfield.
Berna Labourdette
Oct 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
El segundo tomo de la serie sobre Oscar Wilde como un detective aficionado, solucionando pistas en compañía de Robert Sherard (su biográfo) y Conan Doyle (con un gran guiño a que éste se habría inspirado en Wilde para el personaje de Mycroft Holmes). El autor, logra mostrar a Wilde en toda su complejidad, usando para ello personas y situaciones reales, aunque las intrigas sean inventadas. En esta oportunidad, hay un juego de muerte en el que se ven involucrados Alfred Douglas y el Marqués de Que ...more
Marthese Formosa
Jul 20, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is the second book in the Oscar Wilde Murder Mystery series and the first one I read. They can be read as stand-alone though from this book I realized I want to read them all. They follow different times in Wilde's life and create instances where he has to solve a murder.

In this book whose name comes from two things 1.boxing and 2. a game of 'murder'. Wilde organized a monthly dinner with his friends where they also play different games. In this case, they play a game where they say if they
Aug 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mystery, history-era
Another in the series of Oscar Wilde as a detective. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is again in it and also Bram Stoker, Walter Sickert and the Marquess of Queensbury.

During a dinner of the Socrates Club, Wilde proposes a game of Murder with the question of "Who would you kill?" Each attendee writes their choice on a slip of paper which are then drawn randomly and read. All is done in fun and games until the names on that list start turning up dead in the sequence they appear on the list. Who is the mur
Dec 02, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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's pretty amazing.

The crime of this
Apr 25, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After instigating an after-dinner game where the guests have to write down the name of someone they would like to murder, Oscar Wilde is disturbed when the first victim to be mentioned in their game, is killed not long after. Soon more victims from the game are killed, one after another, in the order that their names were read out, and Mr. Wilde himself is on that list. Aided by his friend, real life biographer, and the narrator of the Oscar Wilde detective series, poet Robert Sherard, as well a ...more
Set in the late 1800s, this whodunit features the charming, witty and audacious Oscar Wilde as the detective with Arthur Conan Doyle and Robert Sherard as his companions. It’s the second in the Oscar Wilde series and stems from Wilde’s convening of the Socrates Club - a group of 13 men who dine together regularly. To liven up the dinner party on a Sunday evening in May 1892, Wilde introduces the deadly game of “Murder” – each person has to anonymously write the name of someone he would want to m ...more
Riju Ganguly
Jul 02, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Much better than the first book in the 'Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries' series, this novel was a faster read, with more clues being scattered across the pages, all of which succeeded in being rather neatly tied up at the end. This one also presents Oscar Wilde in a more clearer light. My only grudge is that the series continues with Arthur Conan Doyle being relegated to a footman-like status in story-after-story. Nevertheless, the reading experinece was pleasing enough. Recommended.
Jul 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I enjoyed this book. It was easy reading during lunch time at work. I don't often read mystery series books but when I saw that Oscar Wilde was the main character, I was intrigued. This kept my attention and this series is making me want to learn more about Wilde and his works. I intend to read the others at some point. "Life is too important to be taken seriously!"
Oct 11, 2011 rated it liked it
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.
Neil Kirkham
Mar 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Another great read here from brandreth again. I look forward to reading his third book in the series. Would highly recommend. Great knowledge of Wilde mixed with a great mystery story.
Feb 24, 2018 rated it liked it
Well, I loved the first in this series 'oscar wilde and the candlelight murders', and have done a review about it as well. I was really looking forward to this one, as the setting is just my kind of murder mystery story.

So first off, I really enjoyed this book, and would have given it 4 stars, right up until the end, when it really dissappointed me.

I adored the characters, as I did when I read the first book. Brandreth has captured Wilde, Bosie, Constance and the children wonderfully, and althou
Jan 27, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Un dîner, quatorze convives, un jeu et une série de meurtres. L'intrigue semble complexe au départ, mais au fil des pages, on est captivé par l'histoire et l'atmosphère luxuriante dans un Londres de mai 1892. Il y a des personnages réels comme Bram Stoker et Arthur Conan Doyle. Les aphorismes d'Oscar Wilde, en qualité de détective, sont abondants et apportent un vrai cachet au roman.
Il y a quelques longueurs, mais c'est très plaisant à lire. Le dénouement offre peu de surprise (je trouve).
Sylvia Dugan
Jul 18, 2017 rated it liked it
The writing is clever, as you would expect it to be purporting to be Oscar Wilde speaking and detecting, but sometimes it seems to be "speaking" for the sake of being clever rather than moving the story along.

It was interesting enough to keep me reading to the end, and I will go back now and read the author's first book featuring OW.
Mary Corbal
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Lo que más me ha gustado no es la investigación de los asesinatos, sino los datos biográficos sobre Oscar Wilde y los personajes que lo rodearon, y aunque es una novela de ficción y no una biografía, sí que aporta una visión particular de la vida del autor, así como de la sociedad en la que vivió.
Dec 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
Charming. You feel drawn into Oscar Wilde's charm, even while you're noting his excesses and lack of thoughtful behaviour.
I enjoyed the mystery, and the chase of finding out who the killer is in time.
Susan Jo Grassi
Jan 10, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love these books. Oscar Wilde's prowess as a detective rival of fictional Sherlock Holmes is always so entertaining and there is a lot of history and historical figures included. One couldn't ask for a better circle of friends.
Feb 05, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Witty and well laced with real historic figures. Can get a tad twee and precious. The ending though is well done and surprising.
Jan 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book had everything I love in a story: historical detail, cleverness, wonderful conversational by-play, and an actual plot!
BRAVO! I will be reading all the other books as well.
Mar 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, mystery, glbt, series
This is a lightweight, fun series that includes Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Oscar Wilde and a number of their friends in a fictional setting. I didn't love this the way I did the first in the series, but it is still quite good.
Dec 25, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first “murders” in Oscar Wilde and the Game of Murder are metaphors, part of a game refereed by Wilde himself where every guest at dinner secretly writes down the person who would be the most welcome murder victim for each. Then, the companions were to guess who the would-be perpetrator might be. Though some of the “victims” are abstract in the sense of “Old Father Time” and “Eros,” some of the others on the list are so disconcerting that the game breaks up before it is finished. But when th ...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
Lᴀʏᴀ Rᴀɴɪ #BookDiet2019
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
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Character List 1 16 Jan 25, 2010 04:20PM  
  • The Last Testament of Oscar Wilde
  • The Predator of Batignolles (Victor Legris, #5)
  • A Death at the Dionysus Club (Julian Lynes and Ned Mathey, #2)
  • Consequences of Sin (Ursula Marlowe Mystery #1)
  • Oscar Wilde's Last Stand: Decadence, Conspiracy, and the Most Outrageous Trial of the Century
  • Cassandra Darke
  • The Manor of Death (Crowner John Mystery #12)
  • The Burning Plain (Henry Rios Mystery, #6)
  • The Doomsday Machine: A Further Astonishing Adventure of Horatio Lyle (Horatio Lyle, #3)
  • The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde
  • Oscar Wilde: A Certain Genius
  • A Play of Knaves (Joliffe the Player, #3)
  • Il giorno del lupo
  • Two for Sorrow (Josephine Tey, #3)
  • Queer London: Perils and Pleasures in the Sexual Metropolis, 1918-1957
  • Crimson Snow: Winter Mysteries
  • The Green Carnation
  • Murder Your Darlings (Algonquin Round Table #1)
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 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)
  • Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol
  • Jack the Ripper: Case Closed
“Praise makes me humble, but when I am abused, I know that I have touched the stars.” 11 likes
“The newspapers of today chronicle with degrading avidity the sins of the second-rate, and with the conscientiousness of the illiterate give us accurate and prosaic details of the doings of people of absolutely no interest whatever. I must give them up.” 0 likes
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