True Review
Current Issue Number 77 Vol.20  March 2011
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
OSCAR WILDE AND THE VAMPIRE MURDERS

OSCAR WILDE AND THE VAMPIRE MURDERS:

OSCAR WILDE AND THE VAMPIRE MURDERS, by Gyles Brandreth. Touchstone/Simon and Schuster (www.simonandschuster.com), 2011, 366 pp., $14.00. ISBN 1-4391-5368-X

In the spring of 1890, a reception is held by the Duke and Duchess of Albemarle. London’s finest is present, including the Prince of Wales. Unfortunately, the Duchess is found murdered in a telephone room – or dead, anyway, of what the doctor claims is a heart attack.

The Prince wants to keep public scandal away, so he asks his friend, Oscar Wilde, and writer Arthur Conan Doyle to investigate.

Wilde is keeping track of Rex LaSalle, the actor, who calls himself a vampire. Robert Sherard, great-grandson of William Wordsworth, provides his own recollections. Wilde remains suspicious of the cause and, like a crime scene investigator, wants answers.

The doctor insists the Duchess died from her overly active, stressed, risk-taking life – but Wilde believes otherwise when he notices the marks of a vampire on her neck.

Many are drawn into the mystery, including Wilde’s contemporary Bram Stoker. Bram is busy himself on a new vampire novel, claiming the idea goes back, way back, in recorded history – but nobody knows if bloodsucking, human-like creatures are for real.

Another murder occurs, this one of Miss Louisa Lavallois, a professional dancer, a flirt, a darling, and a mistress – touring with a French troupe. The mistress of whom? Why was she killed, and are the murders connected?

OSCAR WILDE AND THE VAMPIRE MURDERS remains playful, in a way, calling up a history of what might have been – if these creative types of the late 19th century could be trusted to work together, which is questionable itself. The novel remains a campy treat.

Andrew M. Andrews

In This Issue

Soft Apocalpyse Nebula Awards Showcase 2011 Click on the Book Cover for Review Best Sci-Fi of the Year Oscar Wilde & Vampire Murders

Dawn to Dusk Brave New Worlds All Clear Zombie Autopsies Best of Kim Stanley Robinson

Nightmare at 20,000 Feet Griftopia Sleight of Hand Immaculate Deception Pump Six

Sympathy for the Devil Atlantis & Othe Places Darkness Holiday Nano Comes to Clifford

Game Changers Armageddon In Retrospect   The Fall of the House of Usher Realms of Fantasy

Next Time In True Review
FLAMING ZEPPELINS

FLAMING ZEPPELINS:

FLAMING ZEPPELINS: The Adventures of Ned the Seal, by Joe R. Lansdale. Tachyon Publications (www.tachyonpublications.com), 2010, 285 pp., $14.95. ISBN 978-1-61696-002-5

FLAMING ZEPPELINS is a combination of two short novels, ZEPPELINS WEST (Subterranean Press, 2001) and FLAMING LONDON (Subterranean, 2005). The love of westerns and pulp fiction, comic books and Texas weirdness, come into play. The best campy fiction in all of America? Probably.

Andrew M. Andrews
FLAMING ZEPPELINS

THE COLLECTED FANTASIES VOL. 5, THE LAST HIEROGLYPH:

THE COLLECTED FANTASIES VOL. 5, THE LAST HIEROGLYPH, by Clark Ashton Smith, ed. by Scott Connors and Ron Hilger. Night Shade Books (www.nightshadebooks.com), 2010, 370 pp., $39.99. ISBN 978-1-59780-032-7

THE COLLECTED FANTASIES is the last of five volumes to collect all of Smith’s tales. Included are works ranging from “The Dark Age” (April 1938) to “The Dart of Rasasfa” (July 1961).

Andrew M. Andrews