The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective

Written by:
Kate Summerscale
Narrated by:
Simon Vance

Unabridged Audiobook

Release Date
October 2008
9 hours 43 minutes
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 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 Sergeant 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 author Kate Summerscale has fashioned a brilliant, multilayered narrative that is as cleverly constructed as it is beautifully written.
Profile Avatar

Even Simon Vance's exceptional narration (why it got 1 star) can't make this book interesting. I felt like I was listening to someone's Writing Class project.

Profile Avatar
Wendy B.

Very interesting and detailed. The book gives incredible insight into how crime investigation was done in Victorian England and viewed by the people. The crime also influenced the writing of the time in both England and the U.S. If you're not into the minute details of true crime you'll be bored, but if that's your cup of tea you'll enjoy this book.

Profile Avatar
Rachel H.

i loved the deep research and far reach of ths telling. i often forgot if it was fiction or history i read, captivating detail. more of this please!

Profile Avatar
Tim S.

Didn't actually read it... listen for most of an hour then skipped forward to see if it improved. Probably a good story but I don't really like a story that's 90% the narrator telling you what is happening... I prefer hearing the characters talking to each other not the narrator telling me what was said or done.

Profile Avatar
John R.

There's a novel in here but only in flashes and mostly after 4/5ths of the way through. The rest of the book is a catalog of the history of how detectives came to be in Victorian England, which might interest some. Simon Vance's narration is why I finished it, as usual he is excellent.

Profile Avatar
Glenice N.

Hate it dislike Tver English accent. It annoys me. Can. It stand it. I want it gone

1 book added to cart
View Cart