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Download The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective Audiobook, by Kate Summerscale Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (7,251 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Kate Summerscale Narrator: Simon Vance Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: October 2008 ISBN: 9781598878530
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In 1860 a three-year-old boy was found at the bottom of a privy with his throat slit. The crime horrified all England, led to a national obsession with the new art of detection, and ironically destroyed the career of the greatest detective in the land. Pr Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “A brilliant reconstruction of the obstacles facing detectives long before the advent of forensic technology.”

    Los Angeles Times Book Review

  • “Summerscale organizes the book like a period novel, with a denouement that suggests that full justice was never done. Erik Larson fans will be enthralled.”

    Library Journal

  • “A mesmerizing portrait of one of England’s first detectives and the gruesome murder investigation that nearly destroyed him…Whicher is a fascinating hero, and readers will delight in following every lurid twist and turn in his investigation.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “A bang-up sleuthing adventure.”

    Kirkus Reviews

  • “Told and interwoven with admirable skill and definition.”

    BookPage

  • “In crime annals, it’s right up there with the Lindbergh trial or the mystery surrounding JonBenet Ramsey: In 1860, one of Scotland Yard’s finest was sent to solve the murder of a little boy at an upscale address near London. It turned out Jack Whicher’s hunch was right, and his footwork fed the public imagination as well as writers such as Charles Dickens. Sadly, failure to clinch the case in court upended Whicher’s career.”

    Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • “If you are a mystery lover, or if you have ever wondered how the modern love of the genre began, you’ll enjoy Summerscale’s tracing of the early days of the profession and the fascination it exerted…A fascinating look at Victorian life, death, and detection.”

    Associated Press

  • “Fascinating.”

    Denver Post

  • The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher combines a thumping good mystery yarn with fine social and literary history.”

    Denver Post

  • “One eloquent doozy of a true-crime thriller.”

    Entertainment Weekly

  • “Not just a dark, vicious true-crime story; it is the story of the birth of forensic science, founded on the new and disturbing idea that innocent, insignificant domestic details can reveal unspeakable horrors to those who know how to read them.”

    Time

  • “[A] fastidious reconstruction and expansive analysis of the Road Hill murder case…Summerscale smartly uses an energetic narrative voice and a suspenseful pace, among other novelistic devices, to make her factual material read with the urgency of a work of fiction.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award
  • An Indie Next Notable Title, September 2008
  • A 2009 Macavity Award Finalist for Best Nonfiction/Critical Work
  • A 2008 Agatha Award Finalist for Best Nonfiction
  • Winner of the 2008 Samuel Johnson Prize for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Anthony Award Finalist for the Best Critical Nonfiction Work
  • A 2008 Time Magazine Top 10 Book for Nonfiction
  • A 2009 Edgar Allan Poe Award Nominee for Best Fact Crime

Listener Opinions

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Stuart | 2/20/2014

    " I wish the author had not tried to cram in as many facts as she did, as a result, the book seems obsessed with avoiding loose ends, and the narrative flow is lost. The inquiry and conviction of the murder of a small child in the mid nineteenth century is potentially interesting subject matter. A strength of this book is that it does provide an insight into the development of the detective in the British police force. What this book fails to do ultimately is to persuade me to read more non-fiction, which is a pity. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jena Corda | 2/17/2014

    " Juicy historic factual novel based on a murder of a child at a Victorian country estate - lots of characters and drama. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Colleen | 2/15/2014

    " slow but interesting account of a Victorian murder mystery. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joyce | 2/2/2014

    " So many readers told me about this book--colleagues and students--and it became one of those that you hold off reading until you have time....and then if just doesn't work. Moved too slowly, I guess, but I appreciated all the references to the 19th century novels I had actually read that drew on this case and the investigative techniques. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alida | 1/30/2014

    " Fascinating. The level of detail is what I enjoyed most. The best part is that even though the mystery was revealed it really did not fully convinced me that it really happened as we are led to believe by the written sources that survived. This book could have been subtitled "and the birth of the sociopath" "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jo | 1/27/2014

    " The tale of a sensational murder in Victorian England. A small boy is taken from a locked house and found murdered in the privy. The only people who could've done it were the inhabitants of the house. Jonathan Whicher, a London detective, is sent to investigate. The case was heavily covered in the media and inspired the classic domestic murder mysteries that littered early 20th century fiction. Fascinating case and it was good to read more about the characters' lives after the event. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Anita Barberio | 1/18/2014

    " Grand-daddy of all crime novels "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Anthony | 12/25/2013

    " Saw some great reviews so I decided to give the book a try. The first part of the book, the actual murder, took forever to set up and give. So I had a feeling this was going to be a long, long, long, read with little pay off. All the reader needs to do is read the beginning. Then skip 300 pages and read the end. Mystery solved, time saved, on to a better book. It was a boring read. Over analyzed. Some previous reviewer nailed it when he/she said that it read like a college thesis. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Barbara Kluver | 12/22/2013

    " An excellent book - a true story about the beginning of forensic science. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Rachel | 11/13/2013

    " This was an interesting book. However there was to much irrevelent information. It was if the author could not decided what of the infromation (interseting or not) that she uncovered to put in the book so she put it all in. A little edditing would have made this a great book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Greg Stragnell | 10/7/2013

    " Interesting and enjoyable. A book about a particularly gruesome murder in Wiltshire in the UK in 1860, it is as much about the attempts to solve what seemed initially to be an intractable murder enquiry as it is about the development of the role of the specialised detective. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Allison | 9/29/2013

    " The writing style is a bit dry but the author provides an interesting look at the beginnings of the modern day detective and how Victorian society looked at the wrong doing of the newly emerging middle class. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Mandy | 9/23/2013

    " Pretty interesting, but I wish it was more thrilling "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Alexandra | 8/13/2013

    " I enjoyed this book about a real-life murder mystery in the Victorian age. I was interested in the history of the detective and information about the early detective novels. It makes me want to go back and re-read Dickens and Wilkie Collins. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jaynez | 7/23/2013

    " A case history of one of the first detectives trying to solve the grisly murder of a young child. Interesting. Probably a bit heavy on procedure for some. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Stellannette Starcke | 7/10/2013

    " Okay, would be a good tv drama. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Diana | 11/9/2012

    " i love it so far and all the information about the characters. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tonya | 7/21/2012

    " This book moved a bit too slowly. The historical information should have been interesting, but it just seemed to drag down the story line. A good effort, but not quite an engaging enough voice. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Greg Whelan | 7/13/2012

    " Having difficulty getting through this one. Too many names not ideal for holiday reading "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Emma K. | 2/5/2012

    " A true story about the grisly murder of a 3 year old boy. This book looks painstakingly at each piece of evidence and each source. A very interesting look into Victorian society, and how they operated. However, a bit too heavy on minute-only-somewhat-relevant details at times. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Ally | 2/4/2012

    " This book was incredibly blood-curdling and interesting, but so many loose ends were left untied. Of course, that is the nature of true crime. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Darbi | 5/6/2011

    " I'm actually listening to this on my iPod when I run... does that count? : )... It was okay "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Diana | 4/30/2011

    " This book's greatest virtue is creating a sort of etymology for the modern detective story. Anyone who loves mysteries - especially good British detective novels - will find this book enriching. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah | 4/27/2011

    " Fascinating - reveals another aspect of Victorian life and it's criminal underbelly. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 John | 4/25/2011

    " Very dull telling of a quite interesting story. I hope the tv version is more entertaining. Finishing this book was very difficult. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 4/4/2011

    " This book, like the real-life murder investigation it takes as its subject, starts off with great drama and excitement, then loses its way halfway through. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Henley | 4/3/2011

    " Book Club rating - 3.5 "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Mari Anne | 4/1/2011

    " Dull, dull, dull. Couldn't get through it. I had read somewhere that this was a really interesting book but I didn't find it to be so. Minute detail made it painful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Lauren | 3/28/2011

    " Not the best true crime book I've read. I felt like the book could use more description of events related to the case or just be shorter. It had a lot of mostly unnecessary references to detective stories/novels of the Victorian era. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Maureen | 3/26/2011

    " Quite a tale of a murder that gripped England as the U.S. was busy descending into Civil War. The role of the press in identifying suspects is particularly interesting, but overall I found it a slow read, with digressions into places I didn't want to go. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kiersten | 3/23/2011

    " In between the large chunks of irrelevant details and the poorly organized information is an interesting story...just not told very well. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tom | 3/17/2011

    " Pretty good book. Offers a lot of historical context and describes a real murder investigation in 1860. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kerry | 3/13/2011

    " This is the way I need to read nonfiction. I really enjoyed this. I will say that there were times that I started to nod off or tune it out because it did get a little bogged down in what I felt were unnecessary details. All in all it was really enjoyable. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Denise | 2/28/2011

    " I love almost anything like a historical biography. This was a good book I simply hard a time trying to get into it. "

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About the Author
Author Kate Summerscale

Kate Summerscale is the former literary editor for the Daily Telegraph and author of The Queen of Whale Cay, which won the Somerset Maugham Award and was shortlisted for the Whitbread biography award. She lives in London.

About the Narrator

Simon Vance (a.k.a. Robert Whitfield) is an award-winning actor and an AudioFile Golden Voice with over forty Earphones Awards. He has won thirteen prestigious Audie Awards and was Booklist’s very first Voice of Choice in 2008. He has narrated more than eight hundred audiobooks over almost thirty years, beginning when he was a radio newsreader for the BBC in London.