The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab is a novel written by Fergus Hume, first published in 1886. It is considered to be one of the first great mystery novels and one of the most successful detective novels of the Victorian era. The story is set in Melbourne, Australia, and revolves around the murder of a wealthy man named Oliver Whyte, who is found dead in the back of a hansom cab. The investigation into his death is led by Detective Inspector Frederick Waters and his assistant, Detective Sergeant George Parrish.

As the investigation unfolds, a number of suspects are identified, including Whyte’s fiancée, his business partner, and a mysterious woman who was seen with him on the night of his murder. The detectives must navigate through a web of lies and deceit to uncover the truth behind Whyte’s death.

The novel was an instant success and became a bestseller in Australia and the United Kingdom. It has been adapted into several stage plays and films, including a silent film version made in 1911 and a 2012 TV movie adaptation.

“The Mystery of a Hansom Cab” is credited with helping to popularize the mystery genre and inspiring future writers, including Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, who would go on to create his iconic detective character, Sherlock Holmes.

Fergusson Wright Hume (1859-1932) was a British novelist who spent most of his life in New Zealand and Australia. He is best known for his novel “The Mystery of a Hansom Cab,” which is considered to be one of the first great mystery novels and a pioneering work in the detective fiction genre.

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