Monday, April 11, 2016
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher - Kate Summerscale
This nonfiction book has been patiently waiting to be read for years, and I have no idea why I never picked it up before now. It works as a classic whodunit, as the reader follows the investigation into the shocking murder of a young child in the 1860s. Detectives were just coming into their own as part of the police force at this time, so we also get some of that history as well as the emergence of detectives in fiction in this well written book. The titular Mr. Whicher was one of Scotland Yard's best detectives, and was well known in his time - he met Dickens, who probably based at least one character on him. Whicher's investigation was partially hampered by the Victorian mores of the time but all in all it seems that he was very wise. I won't say any more so as to avoid any spoilers, but it's a great read for mystery fans or history buffs, or anyone who enjoys good writing and a good story. Recommended.