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Synopsis

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.

Fergus Hume was born in England in 1859. He grew up in New Zealand, where he became a lawyer. In 1885 he emigrated to Melbourne, the city in which he wrote and set The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. In 1888 he settled in England and embarked on a literary career which produced over 130 novels. He died in 1932.

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‘Fiendishly cunning.’ Shane Maloney

‘Australia’s original blockbuster is back in print. Written more than 100 years ago, this murder mystery sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world…It will give you a sense of Melbourne’s history—you’ll hear the hansoms rattling down Collins Street for weeks afterwards.’ Herald Sun

‘This novel was a phenomenal success when it was first published in Melbourne in 1886 and it became an international bestseller—It’s easy to see why. The plot sweeps through unexpected twists and turns…and the suspense is maintained to the end. Most appealing…is the wonderful flavour of 1880s Melbourne, from the gaslit glamour of the Collins Street “block” to the hideous squalor of the slum alleys off Little Bourke Street…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

‘One of the hundred best crime novels of all time.’ Sunday Telegraph

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