The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
The dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction. In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically... show more
The dramatic story of the real-life murder that inspired the birth of modern detective fiction. In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England and led to a national obsession with detection, ironically destroying, in the process, the career of perhaps the greatest detective in the land.At the time, the detective was a relatively new invention; there were only eight detectives in all of England and rarely were they called out of London, but this crime was so shocking, as Kate Summerscale relates in her scintillating new book, that Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate, Inspector Jonathan Whicher. Whicher quickly believed the unbelievable—that someone within the family was responsible for the murder of young Saville Kent. Without sufficient evidence or a confession, though, his case was circumstantial and he returned to London a broken man. Though he would be vindicated five years later, the real legacy of Jonathan Whicher lives on in fiction: the tough, quirky, knowing, and all-seeing detective that we know and love today…from the cryptic Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone to Dashiell Hammett’s Sam Spade. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher is a provocative work of nonfiction that reads like a Victorian thriller, and in it Kate Summerscale has fashioned a brilliant, multilayered narrative that is as cleverly constructed as it is beautifully written.
Publish date: April 15th 2008
Publisher: Walker & Company
Pages no: 360
Edition language: English
On a summer's morning in 1860, the Kent family awakes in their elegant Wiltshire home to a terrible discovery; their youngest son has been brutally murdered. When celebrated detective Jack Whicher is summoned from Scotland Yard he faces the unenviable task of identifying the killer - when the grievi...
I was intrigued by the blurb. Read the preview on Scribd, liked it enough to pay a credit for it, whizzed through the first third - very interesting! Ohhhh, was it the governess? The parents? The step-siblings? An outside party with a grudge against the unlikable master of the house?! - and then slo...
[Reseña Pendiente]Tengo pasión por los detectives (y todo lo que esté remotamente relacionado con ellos.) No me voy a curar nunca.
The case isn't very interesting, the way it's set out makes it downright boring, and the writing is just monotonous.
This is less the story of a murder than it is an examination of the public's relationship with detective stories both fictional and non. It's well researched, and pretty interesting if you're into that sort of thing, which I am.