The Suspicions of Mr Whicher – Kate Summerscale

The original Victorian murder mystery house which spawned immense public commentary at the time, The Suspicions of Mr Whicher covers the infamous Road Hill House mystery. One morning the Kent family wake to find beloved son Saville missing, later found murdered and shoved in the outhouse. Celebrated detective Mr Whicher is given the task of discovering who murdered young Saville. When he turns his eyes towards the members of the family the case turns ugly and has ramifications for all involved that lasts for decades Summerscale investigates the situation laying out the investigation for the reader.


This book gives fascinating insight into this infamous mystery that caused much commentary and drama in it’s day. I loved all the random tidbits of information that I discovered throughout the book. I especially enjoyed learning about the social ramifications on society, Mr Whicher, the family members and even how it shaped crime fiction of the day. I did find it a little wordy at times and my attention would wander – definitely one in my opinion to be read over the course of days. I found it quite dense at times to read to much in one sitting. It probably could have been kept a tad shorter and snappier but that being said I still really enjoyed it.


Overall this was an enjoyable and interesting read. A little different from my usual pace and subject matter but a deviation that was refreshing. This is a must read for fans of crime fiction, particularly for those interesting in Victorian crime fiction, Sherlock Holmes and Dickens’ Bleak House for example, if only to understand the period in which this genre was shaped and the changing opinions of this time. A great read and onto the next Summerscale.



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