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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.



About the Author

Kate Summerscale

Kate Summerscale (born in 1965) is an English writer and journalist. She won the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-fiction in 2008 with and won a Somerset Maugham Award in 1998 (and was shortlisted for the 1997 Whitbread Awards for biography) for the bestselling , about Joe Carstairs, 'fastest woman on water'.As a journalist, she worked for The Independent and The Daily Telegraph and her articles have appeared in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph and The Sunday Telegraph. She stumbled on the story for in an 1890s anthology of unsolved crime stories and became so fascinated that she left her post as literary editor of to pursue her investigations. She spent a year researching the book and another year writing it. She has also judged various literary competitions including the Booker Prize in 2001.



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