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Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol    by Gyles Brandreth Amazon.com order for
Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol
by Gyles Brandreth
Order:  USA  Can
Touchstone, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

In 1895, the poet, playwright, novelist, and raconteur, Oscar Wilde was sentenced to two years in Reading Gaol at hard labor. His offence? Being different!

From being on top of the world with everything that his talent could buy and heralded around the globe, he descended into penury. He also suffered the loss of his wife and two sons, who moved to Switzerland and changed their names.

Upon his release in 1897, Wilde flees to France where he meets a man to whom he relates the sad tale of his incarceration. He reveals that he was asked to help solve the death of two men a warder and the prison chaplain. Since Wilde had been a close friend of Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes, prison officials felt he was qualified to solve what could be murders.

Oscar Wilde and the Murders at Reading Gaol is the sixth in this wonderful series by Gyles Brandreth. Kirkus Reviews calls the books 'Irrepressibly droll.' The Philadelphia Inquirer says 'Immensely enjoyable.' Their high praise is well earned. I could almost feel the chill and damp in the prison and taste the horrible gruel. No talking at all unless asked a question. That, and more, enough to cause a person to go mad.

The research for this work must have been exhaustive. But successful, as is proven by the fascinating tales that are written about a man who is to this day still held in high esteem.

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