The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher : A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

By (author) Kate Summerscale


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The national bestseller, now in paperback. In June of 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found at the bottom of an outdoor privy with his throat slit. T he 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. I nspector Jonathan Whicher's real legacy, however, lives on in fiction: the tough, quirky, all-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 "reads like the best of Victorian thrillers, and has been nominated for the Samuel Johnson Prize in London."

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  • Paperback | 372 pages
  • 137.16 x 226.06 x 33.02mm | 317.51g
  • 24 Feb 2009
  • New York
  • English
  • Reprint
  • black & white plates, colour plates
  • 080271742X
  • 9780802717429
  • 236,718

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Author Information

Kate Summerscale is the former literary editor for the "Daily Telegraph "and author of "The Queen of Whale Cay," which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread biography award. She lives in London.

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Review quote

“[A] fastidious reconstruction and expansive analysis of the Road Hill murder case…Summerscale smartly uses an energetic narrative voice and a suspenseful pace, among other novelistic devices, to make her factual material read with the urgency of a work of fiction.”—"New York Times Book Review" “A terrific book.”—Nicholson Baker “A brilliant reconstruction of the obstacles facing detectives long before the advent of forensic technology.”—"L.A."" Times Book Review" “Not just a dark, vicious true-crime story; it is the story of the birth of forensic science, founded on the new and disturbing idea that innocent, insignificant domestic details can reveal unspeakable horrors to those who know how to read them.”—"Time"  “One eloquent doozy of a true-crime thriller. A-”—"Entertainment Weekly" “"The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" combines a

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