Author: Kate Summerscale
View: 9167t's 1860. Saville Kent, age three, is murdered in an outdoor privy. The crime horrifies England. It leads to a national obsession that turns the masses into amateur sleuths. Inspector Jonathan Whicher is Britain's best. He realizes right away that the murder was an inside job-and he sees who did it. But Victorians refuse to believe that one family member can kill another. Unable to prove his circumstantial case, Whicher returns discredited to London. Only five years later, he turns out to have been right. But Whicher's real legacy lives on in fiction. He becomes the model for the tough, intuitive detectives that we've loved ever since: the cryptic Sgt. Cuff in Wilkie Collins' The Moonstone, Dashiell Hammett's Sam Spade, the heroes of Law and Order and CSI. Now Kate Summerscale tells the story of the case that inspired the rise of the British mystery novel. This provocative true-crime story reads like a Victorian thriller.