The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale. Walker Books (2008).
The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher is the story of a murder investigation in Victorian England. Despite the author's claim that "the book is modelled on the country-house murder mystery" and "uses some of the devices of detective fiction," she failed to keep me engaged. I was expecting an Erik Larson-esque non-fiction as fiction narrative, but was disappointed. Her writing seemed more of a recitation of facts. Summerscale frequently digresses into history of Victorian England, the detective fiction genre, and crime investigation. While interesting, I found that it detracted from the main narrative. I was unable to overcome this and failed to finish the book. My own preconceived notions ruined this book for me, but it has been getting great press so, please, check it out for yourself.