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The suspicions of Mr. Whicher : a shocking murder and the undoing of a great Vic
Kate Summerscale
Adult Nonfiction HV7911.W426 S86 2008

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Summerscale (The Queen of Whale Cay) delivers a mesmerizing portrait of one of England's first detectives and the gruesome murder investigation that nearly destroyed him. In 1860, three-year-old Saville Kent was found murdered in the outdoor privy of his family's country estate. Local police scrambled for clues, but to no avail. Scotland Yard Det.-Insp. Jonathan "Jack" Whicher was called in and immediately suspected the unthinkable: someone in the Kent family killed Saville. Theories abounded as everyone from the nursemaid to Saville's father became a suspect. Whicher tirelessly pursued every lead and became convinced that Constance Kent, Saville's teenage half-sister, was the murderer, but with little evidence and no confession, the case went cold and Whicher returned to London, a broken man. Five years later, the killer came forward with a shocking account of the crime, leading to a sensational trial. Whicher is a fascinating hero, and readers will delight in following every lurid twist and turn in his investigation. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

From Library Journal:

An English country house, a ghastly child murder, family secrets, a brilliant detective-all the elements of a Victorian crime novel are here in this true account of a celebrated murder in 1860. On June 29, three-year-old Saville Kent was found with his throat slashed in the servant's privy at Road Hill House. An incompetent police investigation proved fruitless, so the magistrate called in London detective James Whicher. Detectives, who investigated crimes across different police districts, were viewed with both awe and suspicion; their investigations often threatened the sacred privacy of the home. Whicher was certain that a member of the family had murdered the child, but a flat denial and the outrage of the community sent him back to London in disgrace. Later developments proved him right, but Whicher's real claim to fame was as the template for fictional detectives, particularly Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins's The Moonstone. Summerscale organizes the book like a period novel, with a denouement that suggests that full justice was never done. Erik Larson (The Devil in the White City) fans will be enthralled. For public and academic libraries.-Deirdre Bray Root, Middletown P.L. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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