The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher, Or, The Murder at Road Hill House

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Bloomsbury, 2009 - Detectives - 372 pages
2 Reviews
Contains a special eight-page gatefold section of contemporary documents from the Road Hill House investigation, including letters, police reports and Whicher's case notes. 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 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.

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A great history lesson

User Review  - John K. - Borders

This is the perfect kind of non-fiction. It reads like a crime novel, but is full of well researched facts. Summerscale does a fantastic job of explain the context of the murder in both a historical ... Read full review

An enthralling look at a Victorian murder

User Review  - Chris Y., Asst Buyer - Borders

Inspector Jonathan Whicher of Scotland Yard was, at one time, one of the most fascinating men in England. One of the founders of Scotland Yard, he quickly became the most recognizable of their ... Read full review

Contents

THE DETECTIVE
41
To Look at a Star by Glances
133
What Games Goes On
147
Copyright

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About the author (2009)

Kate Summerscale is the author of the number one bestselling The Suspicions of Mr Whicher, winner of the Samuel Johnson Prize for Non-Fiction 2008, winner of the Galaxy British Book of the Year Award, a Richard & Judy Book Club pick and adapted into a major ITV drama. Her first book, the bestselling The Queen of Whale Cay, won a Somerset Maugham award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread biography award. Kate Summerscale has also judged various literary competitions including the Booker Prize. She lives in north London. Mrs Robinson's Disgrace is her third book.

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