Set in Melbourne, Australia, this tale of intrigue and murder was the bestselling crime novel of the nineteenth century
In the early morning hours, two men enter a hansom cab. When the first man exits the cab, the driver continues on to the second’s destination—only to discover upon arrival that the remaining passenger is dead, murdered in the backseat. Police detective Samuel Gorby believes the solution to the crime is as simple as identifying the passengers. But Kilsip, Gorby’s rival on the force, thinks the case is more complicated, and Defense Attorney Duncan Calton concurs. Upon further investigation, the mystery takes a series of strange and unsettling turns, leading the investigators into dark, secret places they never imagined they would go.
Praised for its moody atmosphere, complex plot, colorful characters, and realistic depiction of gold-rush-era Melbourne, Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab was an international sensation, outselling such classic mysteries as A Study in Scarlet and The Woman in White. It has been ranked by the Sunday Times as one of the one hundred best crime stories of all time.
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“A broodingly atmospheric and impossibly well-plotted whodunit . . . I was stunned by the time I had finished it.” —The Bookseller
Fergus Hume (1859–1932) was born in England and raised in New Zealand. He immigrated to Australia in 1885 and was working as a clerk in a Melbourne barrister’s office when he wrote The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886). The bestselling crime novel of the nineteenth century, it served as inspiration for Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes.