The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
By Kate Summerscale
Why this book?
In 1860 three-year-old Saville Kent was found, his throat cut, in an outdoor privy in the respectable English village of Trowbridge. Public reaction was immediate and intense, and Scotland Yard sent its best man to investigate: Detective-Inspector Jonathan Whicher, a reserved, thoughtful, somewhat mysterious figure who would serve as the model for Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins’s The Moonstone. Kate Summerscale recounts the story with an admirable narrative control, peeling away the intricate layers of the case while taking in a broad range of fascinating topics, from the birth of forensic science to the Victorian fascination with the figure of the detective. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher provides all the suspense and captivation of the classic English country-house murder mystery, but the story is far darker and more complex, and all the more disturbing for being true.
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