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

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9780802715357: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective
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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.

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Review:

'A tour de force. It sweeps us irresistibly into the investigation, turning us into armchair detectives... Under the spell of [her] scrupulous intelligence and mesmerizing research' -- The Daily Mail

'Summerscale has constructed nothing less than a masterpiece. My shelves are stacked with books about crime, but none more satisfying than this.' -- Craig Brown, Mail on Sunday

'Summerscale has done excellent research in ferreting out the details of this curious case . . . a remarkable achievement.'
-- The Sunday Times

'Summerscale has produced not only a dazzling non-fiction thriller, but also an acute work of literary and social history.' -- The Daily Express

'The best locked-room murder story you'll read all year. Bravo to Summerscale for breathing so much life into what could have been a dustily historical police procedural.'
-- The Independent

Just terrific... I thought there was a nimbleness to the writing. It's dense with detail but yet there is a lightness to it that is very unusual for even a very good detective story... One of the great things is it opens up a new door, you're looking into a life that is very accurately and richly described and you learn a lot about the period - you're in a very well-sailed boat. -- Nicholson Baker, Radio 5 Books Panel

Summerscale ... has produced a book that deepens and expands the knowledge of what one would have thought was an already over examined case: a remarkable achievement. -- The Times

Very simply, this is a fantastic book, fantastically written and it's a book of deep moral purpose. -- Ekow Eshun, Newsnight Review

What the book does brilliantly...is look at notions of class, criminality, human nature and religion in an age of change... engrossing. -- Ian Rankin in The Guardian

Book Description:

The fascinating story of a famous Victorian murder case - and the notorious detective who solved it

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Summerscale, Kate
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ISBN 10: 0802715354 ISBN 13: 9780802715357
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Book Description Walker & Co, Gordonsville, Virginia, U.S.A., 2008. Hard Cover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First American Edition. 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 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 Sergeant 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 author Kate Summerscale has fashioned a brilliant, multilayered narrative that is as cleverly constructed as it is beautifully written. Seller Inventory # 002209

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Book Description Walker & Company, New York., 2008. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. 1st US edition. First US edition stated 2008 , first printing, number line starts with 1. Hardcover with DJ. Condition new, square tight and crisp book, no edgewear, no names no underlinings no highlights nom bent pages, Not a reminder. DJ new, bright and shiny, no tears no chips no edgewear, Price Not clipped. 8vo, XXIII + 360 pages, illustrated with historic images. Seller Inventory # 013816

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