This is really interesting, and really very difficult to classify. It's not a novel, as the events described are real, however, it is written in the style of detective fiction, with facts being unearthed as you go along. It's also social history, commenting on the state of policing, justice, criminality and prisons of the time. But then again, it runs as an early history of detective fiction itself, showing how many novels of the time set the trend for detectives to come, and how much of that style is based on this case. All in all, it's a fascinating book. The murder is one that shocked the Victorian world by undermining the ideal of family as the murder was committed by one of the family. but who? Mr Whicher had his suspiscions, but they were unproven at the time, and remained suspicions until one of the family confessed. However, even that confession leaves you slightly unsure that this is the entire truth.