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The suspicions of Mr. Whicher : a shocking murder and the undoing of a great Victorian detective
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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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Table of Contents
Introductionp. xi
Floorplan of Road Hill Housep. xiv
Family Treep. xvi
List of Charactersp. xvii
A Note on Moneyp. xx
Prologuep. xxi
Part 1The Death
1To See What We Have Got to Seep. 3
2The Horror and Amazementp. 17
3Shall Not God Search This Out?p. 27
Part 2The Detective
4A Man of Mysteryp. 43
5Every Clue Seems Cut Offp. 59
6Something in Her Dark Cheekp. 77
7Shape-Shiftersp. 91
8All Tight Shut Upp. 99
9I Know Youp. 115
10To Look at a Star by Glancesp. 133
11What Games Goes Onp. 147
12Detective-Feverp. 161
13A General Putting of This and That Together by the Wrong Endp. 179
14Women! Hold Your Tongues!p. 193
Part 3The Unravelling
15Like a Cravep. 207
16Better She Be Madp. 227
17My Love Turnedp. 247
18Surely Our Real Detective Livethp. 261
19Fairy-Lands of Factp. 283
20The Music of the Scythe on the Lawn Outsidep. 291
Afterwordp. 303
Postscriptp. 307
Notesp. 315
List of Illustrationsp. 353
Bibliographyp. 355
Acknowledgementsp. 361
Indexp. 363
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