Denae's Reviews > The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher by Kate Summerscale
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This book was reviewed very favorably and promoted as a book that greatly resembled if not rivaled the detectives and detective stories it at least partially spawned. Kate Summerscale had an opportunity to create a compelling read. Instead, the book came across as a presentation of too many facts with too little narrative. There are entire sections which feel like nothing but padding. Having just read an extremely detailed biography (Master of the Senate: The Years of Lyndon Johnson) which manages to avoid this trap, it seems like this is not entirely the product of attempts to thoroughly document the tale.

The actually story on which the book is based is indeed interesting and created great popular speculation at the time, but the story gets lost in the author's references to how it impacted the society. You get the feeling she used it for structural reference, but forgot how to truly tie it in. The title is more interesting than accurate. While Inspector Whicher plays a large part in the story, his role seems to be more the subject of speculation than that of the book.

Overall, I was disappointed. I really did expect more.

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Reading Progress

January 6, 2011 – Shelved
May 31, 2011 – Started Reading
June 1, 2011 –
page 54
June 3, 2011 –
page 360
June 3, 2011 – Finished Reading
October 20, 2011 – Shelved as: intriguing-review
December 21, 2011 – Shelved as: list-worst-books-read-in-2011
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: read-in-2011
August 10, 2012 – Shelved as: challenge-1010-by-2020
July 4, 2013 – Shelved as: dead-tree-book

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