by Gyles Daubeney Brandreth

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Review

Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol is the 6th of a series of Oscar Wilde based mystery books written by Gyles Brandreth.  While sentenced to two years of prison and hard labor after being found guilty of gross indecency, Wilde is called upon to solve several murders.  Using his friendship with Arthur Conan Doyle and the methods of deduction from Sherlock Holmes, Wilde observes his environment with a careful eye to the smallest and most important details of Reading Gaol.  Dealing with the cruelty of imprisonment, his lack of books and writing materials, and the silence to which he is unaccustomed, Wilde treats the murders as an intellectual stimulus to last through the rest of his sentence.
As a fan of the Sherlock Holmes stories and various pastiches, I enjoyed parts of this book and its attention and reference to their canon.  The book can be seen as historical fiction, as the author was true to much of Wilde’s history and experience during his imprisonment. An interesting story and take on literary mystery.

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