In 1860, in a country house in England, a little boy was taken from his bedroom and murdered in the night. It appeared that it must have been someone already inside the house who did it. It was the mid-1800s when detectives were first employed. Mr. Whicher was one of the first detectives at Scotland Yard and was assigned the case at Road Hill House.
This book not only looks at that particular case, but also tells us a bit of history of detectives and detecting. The best part of the book is the murder case, itself, for sure. And that is the main focus. Most of the detective history was interesting, but I have to admit that there were parts where my mind wandered a bit, as well. There were a lot of parallels (with the case itself, as well as with random detective history) to contemporary fiction, with detective stories being a new thing at the time. I'm not sure why that was added into the book; some of it I found interesting, but other parts, I could have done without. Overall, though, I did enjoy the book, and I have to admit that I was a bit surprised as to how unwilling a lot of people were at the time to allow detectives to come into their homes to investigate something as “big” as a murder!”