The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume Book Summary


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.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Book Details

Book Name The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
Genre Police Procedural
Author Fergus Hume
Published 31 December 1886, Friday
Price Free
E-Book Size 378.27 KB

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume Book Reviews

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Thoroughly enjoyable. The novel was fun to read. And yes, don’t let the digital version distract you with its many errors.

Steve j m

Great story. I truly enjoyed the intrigue and twists and turns in the well thought out story. A page turner.


Good Read. I enjoyed this book with its dated language and the descriptions of late 19th century Australia. Please don’t let the many editing errors distract your enjoyment.


The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Gotta love the classics.

Louise Adele

Keeps You Guessing. An intriguing mystery set in Victorian Australia offers plenty of twists and interesting characters while immersing the reader in a detailed account of the culture and its customs.


The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Excellent murder mystery


Good book. It’s pretty good

Terry Weber-Rodriguez

Good book.. Very entertaining. I enjoyed the peek into the early days of Australia. I wish, in many ways, we enjoyed reading and conversation as was carried on before modern entertainment.


Great Read!. 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. 📔


Family secrets. This early mystery is a historical document of life in Melbourne at the end of the 19th century. Gorby, the detective who opens the novel disappears one third of the way in the text. There’s humor and a few red herrings. Great book.

CP Moo

The mystery of the Hansom cab.. Considering the time of writing, I thought it was quite good.


A good read. It seemed real. I couldn’t put it down.

Grandma Fox 85

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.


Meh. Victorin, patronizing misogyny full of heavy-handed literary references wrapped around a mediocre plot. Skip this and go directly to anything by Conan Doyle.


Too long. The plot was great but there was too much unnecessary narrative.


Fabulous story. So glad I read this story, it was worth it. Very interesting, period in history and the early days of Australia- I knew nothing about this author but mystery from authors of past are always welcome in my book lists!

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Fergus Hume - The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Comments

5 Books like The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (Fergus Hume)

About Author "Fergus Hume"

Ferguson Wright Hume (8 July 1859 – 12 July 1932), known as Fergus Hume, was a prolific English novelist, known for his detective fiction, thrillers and mysteries. Early life Hume was born in Powick, Worcestershire, England, the second son of James C. Hume, a Scot and clerk and steward at the County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum there. When he was three the family emigrated to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he was educated at Otago Boys' High School and studied law at the University of Otago. He was admitted to the New Zealand bar in 1885. Shortly after graduation Hume relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where he obtained a job as a barristers' clerk. He began writing plays, but found it impossible to persuade the managers of Melbourne theatres to accept or even to read them. Rise to fame Hume first came to attention after a play he had written, entitled The Bigamist was stolen by a rogue called Calthorpe, and presented by him as his own work under the title The Mormon. Finding that the ....

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