The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab

The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab

3.57 (768 ratings by Goodreads)
  • Paperback
By (author) 

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Fergus Hume's sensational novel The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is Australia's original blockbuster and international best-selling crime novel. First published in 1886, it was an overnight sensation, selling hundreds of thousands of copies around the world and being translated into eleven languages. Over a century later, Hansom Cab has lost none of its page-turning power. Set in the charming and deadly streets of Melbourne, this brilliantly plotted murder thriller tells the story of a crime committed by an unknown assassin. With its panoramic depiction of a bustling yet uneasy city, Hansom Cab has a central place in Australian literary history. Foreword by Simon Caterson.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 432 pages
  • 131 x 200 x 21mm | 230g
  • Text Publishing Co
  • The Text Publishing Company
  • Melbourne, Australia
  • 1922079537
  • 9781922079534
  • 409,389

About Fergus Hume

Fergus Hume was born in England in 1859. His family soon immigrated to New Zealand, where Hume qualified as a lawyer. He was admitted to the bar in 1885 and moved to Melbourne in the same year.

Desperate to become a playwright but having no success, Hume decided to write a murder novel instead. When he couldn't find a publisher for The Mystery of a Hansom Cab he published it himself. It was a sensation and sold over twenty thousand copies in Melbourne.

With a hit on his hands, Hume sold his copyright to the Hansom Cab Publishing Company in London for fifty pounds. The book was a phenomenal success but Hume never saw another penny from his bestseller. It may have influenced Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's A Study in Scarlet, the first Sherlock Holmes adventure.

Hume moved back to England in 1888 after the publication of his second novel, Madame Midas. He embarked on a career that produced over 130 novels. He never became a famous playwright but he did co-write the theatrical adaptation of The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, which played in London for five hundred nights. The story was also filmed three times in the silent era.

Fergus Hume died in 1932.
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Review quote

`A highly readable and clever mystery, as well as a fascinating description of the minutiae of life in Victorian Melbourne. Hume wanted to write a book, "containing a mystery, a murder, and a description of low life in Melbourne." He did pay tribute to the works of the French mystery writer Emile Gaboriau and his earlier Monsieur Lecoq novels, but many would argue that Hume's plotting is tighter than his French counterpart and his mystery a tougher one to solve.' * Literary Hub * 'Fiendishly cunning.' -- Shane Maloney 'A splendidly romantic melodrama, full of period charm, and Victorian sentiment...The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is not only a classic but hugely enjoyable as well.' * West Australian * 'An absolute ripper. A plot full of astonishing twists and turns, and brilliant evocation of 19th-Century Melbourne that captures its charm, bustle and rawness.' * Inside Melbourne * 'Well written and immensely readable.' * Daily Telegraph * 'One of the hundred best crime novels of all time.' * Sunday Telegraph *
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Rating details

768 ratings
3.57 out of 5 stars
5 16% (125)
4 35% (272)
3 39% (302)
2 7% (54)
1 2% (15)
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