An Apple Books Classic edition.
We’ve all heard of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, the creator of Sherlock Holmes. But what about the novel that inspired Doyle—and outsold him? Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab made him the bestselling crime writer of the 19th century.
The story opens in the dead of night in Victorian-era Melbourne. A man pulls up to a police station and tells them he’s shuttling the body of a murder victim inside his hansom cab. And although he’s laid eyes on the man he believes to be the murderer, the driver can offer no concrete leads.
Hume’s novel is as famous for its plot as it is for its depiction of Melbourne’s class divides at the time. With its portraits of grimy, impoverished neighborhoods alongside scenes of high-society opulence, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is an absorbing historical mystery.