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Old 02-16-2010, 11:14 PM   #1
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Hume, Fergus: The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, LIT v1, 17 February 2010.

Fergus Hume [1859–1932]
The Mystery of a Hansom Cab [1886]

A somewhat melodramatic mystery, set in Melbourne. One of the city’s leading young men is accused of murder. But he won’t defend himself if it brings a woman’s good name into question…

From Wikipedia:
Finding that the novels of Émile Gaboriau were then very popular in Melbourne, he obtained and read a set of them and determined to write a novel of a similar kind. The result was the self-published novel The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886), which became a great success. He based his descriptions of low life on his knowledge of Little Bourke Street. He sold the English and American rights to the novel for fifty pounds, and thus derived little benefit from its success. It eventually became the top selling mystery novel of the Victorian era, John Sutherland calling it the "most sensationally popular crime and detective novel of the century." This novel inspired Arthur Conan Doyle to write "A Study In Scarlet", which introduced the world to Sherlock Holmes. As Doyle remarked, "Hansom Cab was a slight tale, mostly sold by "puffing".
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fergus_Hume

There’s a readable article about the novel here:
http://www.australianliterarycompend...humeessay.html
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