Oscar Wilde and the Return of Jack the Ripper: An Oscar Wilde Mystery

Written by Gyles Brandreth
Review by Susan McDuffie

London, 1894:  Five years after Jack the Ripper terrorized London, Oscar Wilde and his friend Arthur Conan Doyle are enlisted by London’s Chief Constable Melville Macnaghten to attempt to solve the case once and for all. Wilde and Doyle delve through the list of suspects provided, but the search grows more ominous and more complex as the murderer strikes savagely in Wilde’s own neighborhood. Is the Ripper at work again? Is it a copycat killer? And can two literary giants successfully turn their talents to detection and stop the hideous slayings?

Gyles Brandreth captures the larger-than-life qualities of Oscar Wilde’s complex character; Brandreth knows his subject well and writes convincingly. He shows a keen sense of the era, and the reader feels transported to Wilde’s time and his society. The ingenious plot moves along at a brisk pace, but still allows Brandreth space to delve into the fully realized characters of both sleuths, particularly Doyle, who serves as the narrator of this book. The solution to the crimes is unexpected and intriguing.  This is an engaging mystery. Recommended.