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 <i>The Mystery of a Hansom Cab</i> 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 neighbourhoods alongside scenes of high-society opulence, The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is an absorbing historical mystery.
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
The first Australian blockbuster, Fergus Hume’s clever mystery tale earned outsized success at home and abroad in the 1880s, becoming the century’s best-selling crime novel. When a dead body is found in a horse-drawn carriage on the streets of Melbourne, the resulting investigation threatens an elite family’s most guarded secrets. As Detective Gorby delves into both the city’s high society and seedy underbelly, a colourful procession of characters keeps the plot humming along. Between the many twists and the period Australian details, Mystery of a Hansom Cab should appeal to fans of Sherlock Holmes and beyond.
The mystery of the Hansom Cab
First page of the book looked like a loser but kept on reading. Turned out to be one heck of a good book. The Author made me think about my decision to quit reading and I was thrilled with the ending. Thanks for both the book and the author. Another old lady who loves a good book.
Victorin, patronizing misogyny full of heavy-handed literary references wrapped around a mediocre plot. Skip this and go directly to anything by Conan Doyle.
Frustrated, because I had the culprit, though not the motive, figured out from the beginning, but the great thing about this book is that it keeps you continually guessing until the very end. Can’t say much more about it other than that I highly recommend it to any mystery lover. 📔