"Take no heed of her...She reads a lot of books."
~Jasper Fforde

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Oscar Wilde and a Death of No Importance (Gyles Brandreth)

This review has been a long time coming, especially since the book itself should not have taken this long to read.  At less than 400 pages, this engaging mystery should have been a quick read on a Sunday afternoon.  Instead, it sort of dragged.  I had read it once before (pre-blog, if I recall) and couldn't remember why I never finished the series.  Ah, that might be why.

Anyways, dear readers, I thought I'd give it another go.  And this is the end result.

The best way I can describe this book to people is like this: Think of a Sherlock Holmes book.  But, instead of Sherlock Holmes, you have Oscar Wilde.  And instead of Dr. Watson, you have poet Robert Sherard.  When Wilde discovers the corpse of his friend and pupil (and possibly also his lover) Billy Wood, naked, surrounded by candles, with his throat slit ear to ear, he decides that Billy's killer must be found.  But when the police aren't willing to look into the death of a street urchin whose body has mysteriously disappeared from the crime scene, Wilde takes matters into his own hands and goes searching for clues with the help of his friends Robert Sherard and Arthur Conan Doyle.

In theory, this is a great book.  And really, it was an interesting read and I did enjoy it.  But, it was just so slow.  It moved at a glacial pace (okay, perhaps that's unkind).  It was slow, but it was not boring.  Oftentimes, there were twists and surprises which caught me completely off guard.  Still, there was something missing.  And I'm not exactly sure what that is.  This had all the makings of an amazing book, but instead, I feel it only earned a very average 3 of 5 on Goodreads.

After this, I'll moving away from mysteries for a moment, and turning to some science books I picked up (mostly chemistry) and a bit of sci-fi/fantasy.  Stay tuned for more reviews!

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