Oscar Wilde's powers as a detective are put to the test in his most compelling case so far.
In 1892 Arthur Conan Doyle, exhausted by his creation Sherlock Holmes, retires to the spa at Bad Homburg. But his rest cure does not go as planned. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and when the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries amongst the portmanteau of fan mail Conan Doyle has brought to answer - a severed finger, a lock of hair and finally an entire severed hand - the game is once more afoot.
The trail leads to Rome, to the very heart of the Eternal City, the Vatican itself. Pope Pius IX has just died. These are uncertain times. To uncover the mystery and why the creator of Sherlock Holmes has been summoned in this way, Oscar and Conan Doyle must penetrate the innermost circle of the Catholic Church - seven men who have a very great deal to lose.
A flight of imagination that partners Oscar Wilde and Arthur Conan Doyle in a deadly pursuit to the heart of the Eternal City merits a round of applause for sheer chutzpah . . . Gyles Brandreth succeeds magnificently . . . The relationship between the two writers is drawn so convincingly, but there is also dialogue of the period without any Victorian heaviness and a plot that is intriguing throughout. Brandreth's research is impeccable. Literary and theological references merge easily into a skilfully crafted story that goes all the way to meet the standards set by his two eminent protagonists - Daily Mail
Brandreth has always delighted in puzzles, in the quirks of both the past and present, and in the gloriously camp wit of Oscar Wilde. Here all of these things come together in a story that reminds us how enjoyable a well-told traditional murder mystery can be - Scotsman
Brandreth's deftly plotted, entertaining escapades double as historical novels of considerable merit . . . Brandreth is a deft hand at weaving plot, historical atmosphere and entertaining characters - Historical Novels Review
Praise for the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries:
'Brandreth's portrait of Oscar Wilde is entirely plausible; plots are ingenious and the historical backgroud is fascinating' - Scotsman
Hugely enjoyable - Daily Mail
Cleverly plotted, intelligent and thoroughly diverting . . . This novel is an educated page-turner; a feast of intriguing and light-hearted entertainment - Good Book Guide
A cast of historical characters to die for - Sunday Times
A carnival of cliff-hangers and fiendish twists-and-turns . . . The joy of the book . . . is the rounded and compelling presentation of the character of Wilde . . . The imaginary and the factual are woven together with devilish ingenuity. Brandreth also gives his hero speeches of great beauty and wisdom and humanity - Sunday Express
Gyles Brandreth is a writer, performer, former MP and government whip whose career has ranged from hosting Have I Got News For You to starring in his own award-winning musical revue in London's West End. Currently a reporter with The One Show on BBC1 and a regular on Radio 4's Just a Minute, his acclaimed Victorian detective stories - THE OSCAR WILDE MURDER MYSTERIES - are now being published in nineteen countries around the world and are currently in development for TV. All six books in the series, OSCAR WILDE AND THE CANDLELIGHT MURDERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE RING OF DEATH, OSCAR WILDE AND THE DEAD MAN'S SMILE, OSCAR WILDE AND THE NEST OF VIPERS, OSCAR WILDE AND THE VATICAN MURDERS and OSCAR WILDE AND THE MURDERS AT READING GAOL are available from John Murray. You can find out more about the Oscar Wilde Murder Mysteries at www.oscarwildemurdermysteries.com and about Gyles Brandreth at www.gylesbrandreth.net