Synopses & Reviews
One of the shining stars of historical crime fiction returns with this eagerly anticipated addition to the series that Booklist hails as “pitch-perfect” and the Toronto Globe and Mail calls “a lot of fun.”
In Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man’s Smile, the famous playwright and raconteur leaves England for a lecture tour in the United States, where he meets P.T. Barnum, sees Jumbo the Elephant, becomes involved in a saloon shoot out, and entertains Broadway’s brightest stars. But soon Wilde becomes entangled with the LaGrange acting dynasty, whom he befriends aboard an ocean liner. Things are not what they seem with this family, and Oscar’s shrewd curiosity may get the better of him as he investigates their hardships. Once the troupe arrives in Paris to perform Hamlet, the tragedies mount. As Oscar digs deeper into these seemingly random events, he will discover a horrifying secret…one which may bring him closer to his own last chapter than he could ever imagine. Gyles Brandreth has crafted another enchanting entertainment that is as intelligent as it is beguiling.
"Oscar Wilde once again makes a convincing detective in Brandreth's excellent third whodunit to recreate the late Victorian age (after 2008's Oscar Wilde and a Game Called Murder). Framed as a puzzle posed by Wilde to his friend Arthur Conan Doyle in 1890, this adventure concerns a series of mysterious deaths plaguing a French acting troupe, the Compagnie La Grange, which Wilde encounters aboard ship in 1883. The first death is of a poodle, Marie Antoinette, whose body a customs officer in Liverpool unearths in a dirt-filled trunk that Wilde believed to be full of books he was bringing home from America. Human victims follow, forcing Wilde and his Watson, real-life journalist and Wilde biographer Robert Sherard, to untangle the complicated nest of emotions at play among the members of the Compagnie La Grange. John Dickson Carr fans will be gratified to find echoes of his style in several places, including the use of false endings. (Sept.)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Immensely enjoyable, one of the best in the canon of literary mysteries." -- The Philadelphia Inquirer
This shining star of historical crime fiction returns with the eagerly anticipated addition to the series that "Booklist" has hailed as pitch-perfect.
Playwright and raconteur Oscar Wilde embarks on another adventure as he sets sail for America in the 1880s on a roller coaster of a lecture tour. But the adventure doesn't truly begin until Oscar boards an ocean liner headed back across the Atlantic and joins a motley crew led by French impresario Edmond La Grange. As Oscar becomes entangled with the La Grange acting dynasty, he suspects that all is not as it seems. What begins with a curious death at sea soon escalates to a series of increasingly macabre tragedies once the troupe arrives in Paris to perform Hamlet. A strange air of indifference surrounds these seemingly random events, inciting Oscar to dig deeper, aided by his friends Robert Sherard and the divine Sarah Bernhardt. What he discovers is a horrifying secret -- one that may bring him closer to his own last chapter than anyone could have imagined.
As intelligent as it is beguiling, this third installment in the richly historical mystery series is sure to captivate and entertain.
About the Author
Gyles Brandreth is a bestselling author, broadcaster, entertainer, and former MP and British government minister. In addition to the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries, he is the author of two acclaimed royal biographies: Philip & Elizabeth: Portrait of a Marriage and Charles & Camilla: Portrait of a Love Affair.