The Suspicions Of Mr. Whicher, Or, The Murder At Road Hill House

It is a summer s night in 1860 In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep At some point after midnight a dog barks.The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home The household reverberates with sIt is a summer s night in 1860 In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road, Wiltshire, all is quiet Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep At some point after midnight a dog barks.The family wakes the next morning to a horrific discovery an unimaginably gruesome murder has taken place in their home The household reverberates with shock, not least because the guilty party is surely still among them Jack Whicher of Scotland Yard, the most celebrated detective of his day, reaches Road Hill House a fortnight later He faces an unenviable task to solve a case in which the grieving family are the suspects.The murder provokes national hysteria The thought of what might be festering behind the closed doors of respectable middle class homes scheming servants, rebellious children, insanity, jealousy, loneliness and loathing arouses fear and a kind of excitement But when Whicher reaches his shocking conclusion there is uproar and bewilderment.A true story that inspired a generation of writers such as Wilkie Collins, Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, this has all the hallmarks of the classic murder mystery a body a detective a country house steeped in secrets In The Suspicions of Mr Whicher Kate Summerscale untangles the facts behind this notorious case, bringing it back to vivid, extraordinary life.
The Suspicions Of Mr Whicher Or The Murder At Road Hill House It is a summer s night in In an elegant detached Georgian house in the village of Road Wiltshire all is quiet Behind shuttered windows the Kent family lies sound asleep At some point after midn

  • Title: The Suspicions Of Mr. Whicher, Or, The Murder At Road Hill House
  • Author: Kate Summerscale
  • ISBN: 9780747599227
  • Page: 398
  • Format: Paperback
  • 1 thought on “The Suspicions Of Mr. Whicher, Or, The Murder At Road Hill House”

    1. So disappointing! I was hoping for another "Devil in the White City" but, what I got was "Devil in the over researched, meandering, dull city." Poor Mr. Whicher. From the beginning we are promised a story about this interesting man and the case that brought him down. This was a man who influenced all the famous literary detectives from Sherlock Holmes to Philip Marlowe. But, we never got to know him. He never had a voice. And frankly, the guy on the page would have a hard time influencing anythi [...]

    2. It's a bit hard to understand all the acclaim "The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher" has received. A recounting of the murder of a three-year-old English boy in 1860 as well as an exploration of the killing's impact on detective work both real and fictional, the book certainly isn't terrible but does suffer from being something of a data dump for the author.It seems Kate Summerscale felt a need to give us every niggling detail she was able to dig up about the murder, its coverage by the press at the ti [...]

    3. If you like 19th century British novelsIf you like detective novelsIf you are interested in the development of the novelIf you have any interest in the development of the science of forensicsIf you like true crimeIf you enjoy good factual writingIf you like a good story then this book has it all. It's like the author asked me to write a list of all the things I like to read most, shook them up in a shaker and came out with the perfect book.I drove my husband nuts while I was reading this, consta [...]

    4. There don't seem to be many glowing reviews of this book on , which I can totally understand. Yes, Summerscale gives us way, way too much extra background information on everything, her attempt to connect Detective Whicher to every single literary detective that has ever been is weak at the best of times, and the book's content doesn't pack quite the sensational punch its title promises. Those are the book's flaws. I acknowledge their existence, and will now proceed to completely disregard them [...]

    5. To me this book reads like somebody’s master’s thesis that was expanded for publication – the style is very dry, there’s a compulsive need to share every single random detail of research, and a particular obsession with how much everyone paid for everything – but it’s an interestingly idiosyncratic prism through which to look at the various hang-ups of Victorian society, in particular the glorification of Home and Family, and their terror of the increasing social mobility among the c [...]

    6. Four-year-old Saville Kent is murdered in his own home. Although originally placed in the hands of local police, the matter is turned over to Jack Whicher who almost immediately suspects daughter Constance of the crime. However, charges do not stick. Whicher is discredited. The crime is confessed a few years later. The crime is interesting because of its influence on the new detective genre of fiction. Both Wilkie Collins in The Moonstone and Charles Dickens in his unfinished work The Mystery of [...]

    7. Superb historical documentary of police detectivesThis is an amazing book. Rarely have I read a book which has been so meticulously researched. There is an unbelievable amount of detail about the origins of official police detective work, the personalities involved, the journalism of the mid-nineteenth century, the Kent family of Road, the famous and not-so-famous people of that time, and the continuing history of the characters involved into the twentieth century.So, if I think that this book's [...]

    8. This book really went beyond what I was expecting from it. Aside from re-telling the mystery of a 3 year old's murder, the author also delved into the life and thoughts of one of the first and greatest dectectives, Mr. Whicher. Since I had never heard of this detective or this murder before, it was shocking to realize how many famous books were so greatly influenced by the story. For instance, Dickens was highly interested in this case, and Lady Audley's Secret was quite heavily based upon the m [...]

    9. The crime shocked all of England. Three year old Saville Kent, son of the second family of a well to do British Government Official was found murdered, his small body stuffed in an outdoor privy. This was the infamous Road Hill murder and the man who lead the investigation was Mr. Jonathan Whicher. The story filled the tabloids of the time and was discussed everywhere from pulpits to the halls of Power. The unhappy events inspired not only modern forensic investigative methods but also open up a [...]

    10. What a fascinating book this was. I expected to read about the true story of one of the most shocking crimes in 19th century England but I hadn't bargained for also getting a fantastically written and hugely interesting social commentary of Victorian times and attitudes and behaviours with regards to the emergence of Police Detectives in this country.Mr Whicher, the Detective called in to this particular case, was one of the first ever Scotland Yard Detectives which came with its own share of su [...]

    11. So it wasn't totally bad, but it never lived up to its hype either. The whoddunit part of the story was quite suspenceful, and even before that, the setup where you're introduced to this odd Victorian family, and you know something bad is about to happen (I was picturing a Rosemary's baby scenario leading up to a macare ) - that part was good. So here's the deal: the research was thorough, the writing - scientific, unimaginative and drowned in endless details. Not to mention the characters, whic [...]

    12. I'm so disappointed in this book. I happened upon it at the library and thought it looked fantastic. Who doesn't love a Victorian murder mystery? YET, it was much less riveting than my beloved Death at the Priory. It was impossible not to compare the two Victorian murders and Death at the Priory wins hands down. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher was dry as dust and spent far too much time comparing the historical person, Mr. Whicher, with the development of the burgeoning genre of detective novels l [...]

    13. The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale is an account of a real Victorian murder mystery investigated by Jack Whicher, one of the first nine Scotland Yard detectives. In an upper middle class country home, a terrible murder occurred. Three-year-old Saville Kent was discovered dead in a privvy, his throat slashed. A drawing room window had been found open, but it quickly became apparent that no maurading stranger had broken in and committed the dire deed---only one of the family could l [...]

    14. I expected a detective story set in the Victorian era and instead I got this great and extremely accurate historical novel that percolate into current times. I enjoyed reading about Mr. Whicher and I suffered with him when the public opinion dragged him down. But what I enjoyed the most is being taken through the genesis of something we take for granted nowadays: the police force. The tale is surprisingly modern: the media jumped on the story from the start, complaint about the detective work an [...]

    15. Like most people, I bought this book because I was intrigued by the true story of murder in a good Victorian family, and the detective mystery that followed. I didn't pay for 200 pages of what read like some friggin mediocre senior honors thesis. I don't care about how the murder turned up in Wiklie Collins, I don't care what Dickens thought about the crime, I don't care which novels it inspired. This book was just saturated with end-notes, footnotes, and quotes not that they were distracting f [...]

    16. I've always been a big fan of "whodunits" and of course you know of my love of historical novels, so I was pretty excited when I saw this book come out and immediately had to snatch it up. Summerscale writes a great novel of a murder mystery set it gothic Victorian London, where the family are the only suspects. The case proves to be very captivating with various theories laid out for the reader to examine. The author is very good at making it not feel like you're reading a non-fiction book that [...]

    17. This book was 100% in my wheelhouse; I may not be able to be objective about it. A well-researched book about a) a sensational crime in 1860 England, and b) how people reacted to the new detective force investigating it. It traces the change from half-thief thieftakers to the more staid, respectable detective force--and why. I kept throwing my hands in the air at the way people protested the detective doing his job (although it made perfect sense, from their closeted, secretive perspective). (vi [...]

    18. This is a strange booka mix of true crime, the rise of the detective and detective fiction of the mid-19th century. And it moves from one aspect of that mix to another with abandon.The horrific murder of a child (called the Road Murder)brings Mr. Whicher, one of the first detectives of Scotland Yard onto the scene. Although he identifies the murderer in a short time, the public refuses to accept his conclusions and he suffers public scorn. Running through the narrative are references to the rise [...]

    19. Very interesting book. Does a nice job of showing how authors of late 19th century England got fascinated by detectives and how this case influenced their detective fiction which in turn influenced the modern detective fiction. Lots of interesting period details and it shows how little people have changed. If you substituted blogs and Fox News for the tabloid papers and letters people wrote to the police, the hysteria and ignorance surrounding a crime in 1860 can still be seen in modern day medi [...]

    20. [Reseña Pendiente]Tengo pasión por los detectives (y todo lo que esté remotamente relacionado con ellos.) No me voy a curar nunca.

    21. Per la precisione: 4½★Puoi trovare questa recensione anche sul blog: thebooksblendertervistaIl libro è ispirato a un delitto che, nel 1860, sconvolse la campagna inglese (un po' lo stesso punto da cui prende le mosse La vita segreta e la strana morte della signorina Milne, con la differenza che, in quest'ultimo, è l'autore a fornire una conclusione alla vicenda).A Road Hill House, una brutta mattina, scompare uno dei sette figli di Samuel Kent, Saville il più piccolo. Le ricerche sono affa [...]

    22. L'autrice ricostruisce una delle prime inchieste poliziesche condotte secondo i criteri che conosciamo oggi, e al tempo stesso ci mostra in parallelo la nascita del romanzo giallo. Ma non fa solo questo, il libro è una miniera di informazioni sulla criminalità in Inghilterra nel secolo XIX (diciamo che quello che oggi ci stupisce per efferatezza non può competere col passato.), sulle classi sociali, sulla vita famigliare, etc. Entriamo anche noi a Road Hill House, seguiamo i passi dell'invest [...]

    23. This was book club April 2017. It was okay. The topic was dark - murder of a child in Victorian England. (Not exactly how I like to escape after the office.). Regardless of the topic, the writing seemed a little distracting. The author meandered through facts about British detectives, Scotland Yard and early forensics without adequately tying the random facts to the story line.Three starst horrible but certainly not memorable.

    24. During the night of June 29, 1860, three year old Saville Kent was taken from his bed in a locked house, brutally murdered, and left in a servant's privy on the property of the Road Hill House. After weeks of founts of information but no leads, a Mr. Whicher was dispatched to investigate. His suspicions fell on Saville's step-sister: Constance Kent. But the class differences between the family and the detective and the lack of incriminating evidence led to Mr. Whicher returning to London disgrac [...]

    25. Do you enjoy Victorian literature? Fascinated by true crime? Then you could find a lot to enjoy in The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, which deals with a murder that rocked Victorian England – the death of the three year old darling of a middle class family, stolen from his crib in a locked house and found dumped in a privy with his throat cut.Calling upon the Government to send one of its newly created detectives to solve the case (and receiving the titular Mr Whicher, one of their best), at first [...]

    26. I can't recommend this particularly whole-heartedly. Really, it feels like too many books jammed into one, yet still seems padded out with way too much extraneous detail - I don't really need a list of 9 possible bird species that just might potentially have been outside the carriage of an superintendent dude as he went on a journey. Mr Whicher himself is really not that awesome a guy to write a book about, and attempts to make him the inspiration of every subsequent detective novel seem forced. [...]

    27. Se siete interessati alla società vittoriana, alla figura del detective, alla nascita del genere poliziesco e alla sua evoluzione negli anni, vi consiglio di leggere questo saggio romanzato che vi fornirà tantissime informazioni. Se invece state cercando un giallo state lontani da questo libro, potreste annoiarvi parecchio.

    28. perhaps a little too detailed, this was still a super interesting look into a true crime scene in mid 1800s England with a satisfying conclusion.

    29. Much of this was better than my 3-star rating. It is said to be non-fiction that reads like fiction, but there was enough that read like non-fiction and I had to work harder at those parts. I think Erik Larson does a much better job in that regard.At the core of this is the brutal murder of a young child. In that respect it is not for the faint of heart. In 1860 England professional detectives were a relatively new occupation. Mr. Whicher was called to the scene a full 2 weeks after the crime. A [...]

    30. I have mixed thoughts about this book and wish I could give 3.5 stars. First of all, it was a thoughtful birthday gift from my husband who knows I love all things criminal and British. I was intrigued by the crime--that lurking demon under Victorian trappings that includes infanticide and child murder more often than even a historian can believe. And the story of the investigation is quite intriguing. Yet, I am not sure if the author nails the tone and sequence she sought. The book rambles in so [...]

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