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Exhuming a Real-Life British Murder Mystery

In 1860, a three-year-old British boy was found murdered at his family's country estate, and Scotland Yard Detective Jonathan Jack Whicher was charged with the case.

Kate Summerscale's new book, The Suspicions of Mr. Whicher: Murder and the Undoing of A Great Victorian Detective, is a nonfiction account of Whicher's detailed investigation into the crime, his suspicions about the murdered boy's teenaged half-sister, and the eventual confession and trial of the killer.

Fresh Air book critic Maureen Corrigan offers a review.

Copyright 2022 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

Maureen Corrigan, book critic for NPR's Fresh Air, is The Nicky and Jamie Grant Distinguished Professor of the Practice in Literary Criticism at Georgetown University. She is an associate editor of and contributor to Mystery and Suspense Writers (Scribner) and the winner of the 1999 Edgar Award for Criticism, presented by the Mystery Writers of America. In 2019, Corrigan was awarded the Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing by the National Book Critics Circle.