If you're not familiar with this historical series, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (of Sherlock Holmes fame) and Oscar Wilde team up to solve crimes. In this story, Arthur Conan Doyle has taken a vacation from home to catch up on answering his fan mail.
He runs into Oscar Wilde who agrees to help Doyle respond to his letters. Upon opening a parcel, they discover an embalmed hand. Another package contains a finger with a ring.
Looking for excitement, Wilde convinces Doyle the messages are a call for help. The pair set off for Rome. Unsure who sent the messages and not wanting to alert anyone they are investigating, Wilde and Doyle use their notoriety to gain access to the Vatican and its inhabitants.
They befriend the local doctor who is famous for his euthanasia practices as well as a young woman who has set her sights on Doyle.
During their stay, two more people die and it's up to the sleuthing pair to stop the madness.
Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders started slow. Aside from Wilde's wild personality, the entertainment was sparse until we began meeting potential killers. While fun in small doses, I grew weary of Wilde. The larger-than-life character drank copious amounts of liquor, encouraged Doyle to cheat on his wife, and has quite a flare for drama.
The mystery slowly unwound, while treating us to the sights of the times and Rome. It was Wilde's investigative skills that saved the day. Overall, Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders, was an engaging and interesting read.
Oscar Wilde makes a triumphant return in the fifth novel in the critically acclaimed historical mystery series, featuring Wilde as the detective aided by his friend Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In 1892 an exhausted Arthur Conan Doyle retires to a spa in Germany with a suitcase of fan mail. The first person he encounters is Oscar Wilde, and when the two friends make a series of macabre discoveries among the letters—a finger, a lock of hair, and, finally, an entire severed hand.
The trail leads the intrepid duo to Rome, and then to a case that involves miracles as well as murder. To discover why they have been summoned to the Vatican in this sinister fashion, Wilde and Conan Doyle must uncover the deadly secrets of the six men closest to the pope.
In Gyles Brandreth’s Oscar Wilde and the Vatican Murders, Wilde’s powers as a detective are put to the test in his most compelling case yet.