Historical Fiction has been called "a genre of controversy and contradiction."
In this wickedly clever novel, Oscar Wilde attempts to solve the mystery behind the murder of the Duchess of Albemarle. After hosting a posh party, whose guest list includes many of the blue bloods residing in England, circa 1890, the Duke finds his wife dead in their telephone parlor around midnight. The Duchess has two deep, penetrating puncture wounds on her neck and appears to have been violently violated. Official cause of death: heart attack. Oscar joins forces with Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and Bram Stoker to prove to the Royal Family that the Duchess' death was anything but accidental.
Prince Albert, still suspect in the Jack the Ripper murder spree, belongs to a secret society that meets in cemeteries to hobnob with vampires and their groupies. One newly acquired acquaintance of Wilde's professes to be a vampire and is enlisted in the group's hunt for the truth.
This tale is told through the use of telegrams, love letters, news articles, diary entries, etc. It is fast-paced and deliciously wry. Just to experience all the Sherlock Holmes/Oscar Wilde comparisons is worth the read. A historical fiction critic once wrote "...Most historical novels feel thin once you are away from the historical figures that have drawn you to the novel in the first place..."
This is not the case in this mystery book.