This series continues to amaze me in the incredible level of biographical and historical detail of the lives and times surrounding Oscar Wilde. Added to this is an intriguing and satisfying murder mystery or, in this case, mysteries. Oscar takes a trip to the United States circa and we are treated to life in Leadville, Colorado. Oscar meets varied interesting persons and the 'games a foot' as Oscar was fond of quoting his friend, Arthur Conan Doyle's character, Sherlock Holmes. Crossing back to the Continent, Oscar lives through a shocking murder which turns out to have long reaching ramifications.
Again, this novel is also a social commentary on the times living in France and London. We see the glitz and the dirty underbelly. We meet personages such as Sarah Bernhardt and John Tussaud. This was an excellent read. Not a cozy and not recommended,by myself, for youth to read.
At times I was shocked with the details of the French Revolution. A Mystery Oscar Wilde Mysteries. Maybe my expectations were too high!
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I read the first two installments of Mr. Brandwreth's Oscar Wilde mystery series and was quite amused and entertained. Therefore, I had high hopes for this third in the series. Let's go back to the beginning. Brandwreth is a very good writer and has demonstrated the ability to spin an admirable yarn. That being said, I found Dead Man's Smile to be disappointingly long and tedious. Even the storyline grew hazy at times.
There are a multitude of characters and although many are well depicted, too many characters can easily slow a book's pace. Perhaps I missed the uniqueness of Mr. Wilde's campy sense of humor and unparalleled wit. To me, this installment presented him as being somewhat pedestrian, if not downright pedantic. Where was the "fun" that the first two books captured and presented so easily? I'm in the process of reading all the Oscar Wilde mysteries, and although this one is the first in the series, I read it as No. While I did guess some of the ending, I never suspected the person who actually committed the initial crime.
Brandreth has obviously done his homework and enjoyed every minute of it. My wife is has been a fan of Oscar Wilde for some time. When I saw this book, I thought the premise was interesting, and figured it was something we could both enjoy. First off, I shouldn't have to say this, but I know there are those out there who are a little slow on the pick up. This is a writer taking real people and places in line with their time period and writing a fictitious account of an adventure they may have had together. I very much enjoy media of this type Assassin's Creed series for example.
If you have an open mind and a healthy sense of humor, I would wager that you will love it too. If your feet are a little too firmly planted in the soil, or your looking for something more biographical, look elsewhere. As others have mentioned the story takes a little bit to build up, but the stage must be set. It seems that the author really wanted you to understand the characters, get a feel for their personalities and understand their archtypes. For those who are very familiar with these historical figures, it gets a bit dull. Many of you interested in this book, are probably interested due to Oscar Wilde and are therefore familiar with his disposition and quotes.
However, to the authors credit, not everyone is a certified Wilde scholar or necessarily familiar with Arthur Conan Doyle and I'm sure it is very beneficial to those readers. Once the story builds though, you're in for a ride. The cast is represented in spectacular fashion. All the characters were well written, clearly by someone who has a lot of adoration for them and their work. Again, this isn't historical accuracy and liberties have been taken. Don't read this as fact and you will be pleasantly surprised with a fairly well written mystery with a cast of historical character larger than life.
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Published on September 14, Published on July 14, Well, that's not entirely true. The frame story follows the previous two, but the bulk of the story takes place in in the United States, London and Paris. I was wondering how this would play o It's a testament to Brandreth's talent that each successive Oscar Wilde Mystery reveals more about the character and is just as enjoyable as what proceeded it. I was wondering how this would play out since A Death of No Importance seemed to suggest that was Wilde's first attempt at playing a Holmes like character. Luckily, I found no contradictions but instead saw a Wilde that was occasionally fooled or surprised even as he was keenly observant.
Plus, this volume also gives us his first meeting with Robert Sherard back when Sherard was only 21 and Wilde was Without spoiling anything, I'm glad the frame story of Wilde talking with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle who had to show up somehow after all adds more beyond what Sherard recorded of the sordid tale of the La Grange theatre. After reading Wilde's synopsis of what truly occurred I felt some plot threads were ignored, but luckily, Brandreth hadn't forgotten.
I say that so if you don't feel as let down as I was until I saw there was another chapter. My only real complaint is I still have no idea who the dead man in the title is, unless it's the character mentioned at the very end of the book.
Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile : Gyles Brandreth :
If so it wasn't very clear, but that's pretty petty after all. I eagerly look forward to getting a hold of the next volume. While I say that I read this novel, I would be vaugely lying. I skimmed it, which was a shame since I really wanted to enjoy this book. Oscar Wilde coupled with a murder-mystery? How can you get any better than that?
It was more the style of writing that put me off. I was determined to not have to put this book on my 'didn't-finish' shelf, because I was actually excited to read it. First and foremost, the chapter layout was a particular mess, although this is a minor defect considering only the se While I say that I read this novel, I would be vaugely lying. First and foremost, the chapter layout was a particular mess, although this is a minor defect considering only the second chapter was off. It skipped from first person from the view point of Robert Sherard to a curious, very biographical and very iffy chapter on Oscar's voyage to America which seemed more like an Introductory note than a chapter and would probably serve better as the prologue or something akin.
I also found it very slow, though I could see that it was trying to replicate the storytelling abilities of the Victorian era. Aside from the poor writing which unfortunately put me off it completely, the portrayal of Oscar Wilde was quite beautiful and was exactly how one should-and how I-imagine Oscar Wilde would have spoken, acted and looked.
Disappointing, but what can you do. Oct 04, Kristen rated it did not like it Shelves: I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. This third one left me cold, unfortunately, and I did not finish it.
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I felt like that was missing in the first 10 chapters of this installment where I stopped. This book also felt very slow-paced to me. The murder had not yet occurred at chapter nine, and the I really enjoyed the first two books in this series. The murder had not yet occurred at chapter nine, and the activities that did happen were not anything that seemed remotely relevant or interesting at least, not to me.
I would consider future installments of the series, as I really did enjoy the first two. Nov 19, Sharon rated it it was amazing Shelves: Anyone who does not yet know that I am an Oscar Wilde fan has not been paying attention. Thus, when I saw Gyles Brandreth's book on the shelf at my local library, I had to give the story a go. Brandreth has taken several real-life incidents from Wilde's life and built a clever and complex murder mystery around them. The main action takes place in Paris, during the time in which Wilde translated "Hamlet" into French for a local theatre group.
Murders begin to plague the company, along with hints o Anyone who does not yet know that I am an Oscar Wilde fan has not been paying attention. Murders begin to plague the company, along with hints of madness, addiction and more. Brandreth has clearly researched his subject matter, accurately reproducing Victorian London, fin de siecle Paris and the theatrical milieu for his readers. He seems to inhabit Wilde in his characterization and thus creates a very entertaining book that fans of Wilde and murder mysteries alike are certain to enjoy.
Highly recommended for Sherlock Holmes fans as well, as Arthur Conan Doyle makes his appearance at the beginning and end of the tale. Sep 14, Mags Delaney rated it really liked it. I enjoyed this story - I listened to it on audiobook in the car to and from the theatre where I work part time so it entertained me on lots of levels. Thankfully have yet to deal with actors full of chamagne and laudanum and such completely entangled and complicated off stage lives!
Oscar Wilde is a fascinating person anyway and even though this story is fictional I could imagine him being amused being cast in the role of detective. An entertaining distraction to compliment the academic tomes th I enjoyed this story - I listened to it on audiobook in the car to and from the theatre where I work part time so it entertained me on lots of levels. An entertaining distraction to compliment the academic tomes that I am currently studying! Jul 08, Riju Ganguly rated it it was ok. The law of diminishing returns seems to have caught up with this series, and we still have three more books to go through before this series, that had ostensibly sought to capture Wilde-Doyle duo as the real life Holmes-Watson but established the claim to be an outrageous lie in the very first book , comes to a close.
This one, almost entirely based on shenanigans of s Parisians mostly actors, if that justifies the portrayal , was pretty tiresome, and even Oscar Wilde's delightful wit cou The law of diminishing returns seems to have caught up with this series, and we still have three more books to go through before this series, that had ostensibly sought to capture Wilde-Doyle duo as the real life Holmes-Watson but established the claim to be an outrageous lie in the very first book , comes to a close.
This one, almost entirely based on shenanigans of s Parisians mostly actors, if that justifies the portrayal , was pretty tiresome, and even Oscar Wilde's delightful wit couldn't provide it with enough pace or fascination. Aug 08, Marthese Formosa rated it really liked it.
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Another great roller-coaster and witty read. I found this book to be more dark and more problematic than the previous book in terms not of open-relationships and drug use but in terms of views and speech on women, animals, mental health, racism and the brute prison system. These theme may be triggering. At the same time, as a historical fiction mystery book, it did its job. It showed the dark side of the time but also the bright side.
In many aspects, the s were open Actually a 4. In many aspects, the s were open about most things - sex, same-sex relationships and drugs lots of drugs. Again, on a historical note, you would think that people would be quite reserved at that time but actually, intimate touches to the face and so on, were quite common and the book shows it. The characters, most of whom were not likeable, did their job. I quite enjoyed Sarah Bernhardt!
I loved her before and now I love her even more. All the characters are apparently flawed; very realistic. I would have liked a bit more queerness to this especially Oscar's and Sarah's - were where her women lovers? Garstrange and La Grange had me confused, and I was not the only one! The author himself made one mistake in my edition of the book. There will be a lot of instances where you think 'what an asshole' about one particular character and some instances in which you think it about some others.
Oscar's character, and Robert's and Sarah's, shines through. The wit, the complacency, the extravagance. A lot of great run-on-lines and catch phrases of course! Now, to the actual mystery! The mystery is a set of mysteries, most of which involve a death of a cast member or staff with La Companie La Grange.
Of course, we only get to know at the end what happened. It really was a roller-coaster. Perhaps, what I enjoyed most about the mystery, is that we are made to think we were wrong, the mystery seems to be solved but Small or seemingly day-to-day events and dialogues inserted throughout the book, seem to click in the end and they were shown to be as clues. This is what a great mystery does. I was sad for 2 deaths and dismayed by 2 others; one I actually was happy about although that one brought about a whole new problem. Would have loved to see Oscar flirt with Bernard but Bernard flirted with Rollinat and the understudy.
I liked the French language elements, and was glad to understand most of them! Really great continuation of the series. Read it in three days except first chapter. Looking forward to read the next one. Third book in this series and I'm still enjoying! This time Oscar Wilde is in America on a lecture tour in the s. A rough and tumble time in the country. Garstrang also rescued Wilde from a bad situation in a casino. Sailing by back to England he meets up with the French impresario Edmond La Grange and his entourage.
The entourage that includes Third book in this series and I'm still enjoying! Wilde also found that Eddie Garstrang was also on board and part of the La Grange entourage.
Oscar Wilde and the Dead Man's Smile : Oscar Wilde Mystery: 3
The strange happenings started when it was time to disembark from the ship in Liverpool. Somehow Marie Antoinette was found murdered and packed with dirt into Wilde's trunk. A trunk that Wilde had packed with his books, not a dead dog. Wilde had agreed to meet up with La Grange in Paris to work on a new staging of "Hamlet. This just fuels Wilde's curiosity even more and he finds himself digging to find out what is behind them.
Misdirection and blind alleys are what he runs up against. Brandreth's writing brings alive the era and makes me feel that I am seeing it through my eyes. The twists and turns keep me thinking and trying to solve it on my own, yet enjoying the journey. Apr 22, Andrew rated it liked it. Great fun and a nice blending of fiction and fantasy This book follows Oscar to the United States and then onto France where he becomes involved with a acting dynasty of note Things Great fun and a nice blending of fiction and fantasy Things seem neatly summed up before the tale ends..
Why only three stars when I rate this reasonably highly? I will read on.. Jul 01, Ria rated it it was amazing. When Arthur Conan Doyle is given a manuscript of Oscar's adventures in Paris we are taken back to where young Oscar Meets Robert Sherard for the first time and also the rather eccentric and sinister in a way La Grange family who are one of the principal and most famous stage and acting families of that time.
When a dresser is found dead in a bed of an apparent gas leak Oscar and Robert swing into action but the body count is rising and the cast of suspects is starting to look like the playli When Arthur Conan Doyle is given a manuscript of Oscar's adventures in Paris we are taken back to where young Oscar Meets Robert Sherard for the first time and also the rather eccentric and sinister in a way La Grange family who are one of the principal and most famous stage and acting families of that time. When a dresser is found dead in a bed of an apparent gas leak Oscar and Robert swing into action but the body count is rising and the cast of suspects is starting to look like the playlist of Edmond La Grange's latest production!
Exciting and fast paced and full period detail this is another great novel I'm the Oscar Wilde murder mystery series. Aug 31, Jose Puttanani rated it liked it. Apart from providing an insight into the 19th century Europe and glimpses of the great poet Oscar Wylde, this book failed to impress me. Fictions create surprises in the end however authors generally try to leave clues pointing in multiple directions.
The totally surprising end might have been created for creating the suspense, however absence of any clues in the story towards the conclusion doesn't fit well. I actually didn't finish this: Seemed just my kind of thing - Oscar Wilde and sleuthing - what's not to like? Sadly it just took so long to get anywhere and the switch between characters by chapters didn't flow. May 17, Johnny rated it really liked it Shelves: Indeed, there is something of the macabre in the way the trail of events and clues are scattered carelessly through the narrative.
I must confess that two-thirds of the way through the novel, I still wanted to pin the tail on suspects which previous evidence had ruled out. What can I say? Brandreth kept me in suspense for the bulk of the novel. I let my emotions get in the way of my sleuthing skills. As in the other volumes, I found the best lines to be clever infusions of real sayings from Oscar Wilde and those the poet, novelist, playwright, and bon vivant appropriated from people like James Russell Lowell and other wits of the age.
Yet, even Oscar is willing to be upstaged. As protagonist, he reminds us once again that the person who desires to be considered witty will often draw arrows from the quiver of another. In parting, let me quote these words upon which to cogitate: Por otro lado, el crimen es desarrollado imitando a Christie, dejando las soluciones para el final. I have fond memories of Gyles Brandreth and his jumpers from my childhood on TV-am and still enjoy his media appearances, even if he is a Tory. I've never until now encountered any of his written work but this was a pleasant introduction to it.
This is part of a series starring Oscar Wilde in a detective role, solving murder mysteries, with a dramatis personae of historical characters, including Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle.
Oscar Wilde and The Dead Man's Smile by Gyles Brandreth. 9780719569906
The real characters are woven skilfully into the narrative and I have fond memories of Gyles Brandreth and his jumpers from my childhood on TV-am and still enjoy his media appearances, even if he is a Tory. The real characters are woven skilfully into the narrative and several times I had to google a character or location to see if it was real or not. Having a good backdrop would be pointless if the story itself wasn't up to scratch, but thankfully it is.
Brandreth weaves together a tale that takes Wilde from a lecture tour of the US to a collaboration with a celebrated Parisian theatre company for a production of Hamlet.