Review: The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
Author: Kate Summerscale
Length: 400 pages
Genre: Non-Fiction, History
Source: Amazon Kindle
Why I Read It: Recommended by somebody somewhere…
Date Read: 04/02/10
In this historical, true-crime book we get a look at one of the most sensational murders in Great Britain – the murder of 4 year old Saville Kent in 1860. The author uses historical documents and memoirs to put together the full chain of events including the family past and what happened afterwards. The murder itself was shocking because it had to be a member of the house who committed the crime, and it allowed the public to see in to the inner workings of the Victorian family.
While the story was interesting, there were way too many facts and anecdotes provided that had no relevance to the murder case itself. I assume that this was necessitated to make the book longer as the actual murder and numerous trials took less than half of the book. What was most interesting for me were the numerous references to authors and late nineteenth century novels that were based on the characters or the story of this murder, it definitely added to my wish list in that regard.
I would recommend this book if you are interested in the crime and detective novels from this time period and want more information about sources used for the plots and characters but it is definitely a slow read that doens’t often stay on track.