Before there was Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab—the biggest- and fastest-selling detective novel of the 1800s, and Australia’s first literary blockbuster.

Fergus Hume was an aspiring playwright when he moved from Dunedin to Melbourne in 1885. He wrote The Mystery of a Hansom Cab with the humble hope of bringing his name to the attention of theatre managers. The book sold out its first run almost instantly and it became a runaway word-of-mouth phenomenon—but its author sold the copyright for a mere fifty pounds, missing out on a potential fortune.

Blockbuster! is the engrossing story of a book that would help define the genre of crime fiction, and a portrait of a great city in full bloom. Rigorously researched and full of arresting detail, this captivating book is a must-read for all fans of true crime, history and crime fiction alike.

Author

Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand in 1957. She has degrees in English and Librarianship from Monash University, and is a freelance researcher, editor and writer. She has published widely, writing anything from literary criticism to horror and detective stories. In addition she is a literary archaeologist, rediscovering and republishing the nineteenth-century Australian crime writers Mary Fortune and Ellen Davitt. Her short story, `My Lady Tongue' won a Ditmar (Australian Science Fiction Achievement Award) in 1988. In 1994 she was a judge for the international Tiptree award, which honours speculative fiction exploring notions of gender. Her first adult novel, The Scarlet Rider, is about biography, Victorian detective fiction, voodoo and a ghost.

Country of Origin
Blog 2018 Reading Reminiscences
Karen Chisholm
Monday, January 7, 2019
Review Sherlock Holmes, The Australian Casebook, ed Christopher Sequiera
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, March 22, 2018
Blog #amreading Sherlock Holmes, The Australian Casebook, edited by Christopher Sequeira
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Wednesday, January 10, 2018
Review Review - Blockbuster! Fergus Hume and The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, April 28, 2016
Blog #amreading Blockbuster! Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab, Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Thursday, March 10, 2016
Review WOMEN WRITERS AND DETECTIVES IN NINETEENTH-CENTURY CRIME FICTION - Lucy Sussex
Karen Chisholm
Tuesday, December 20, 2011
Review THE FORTUNES OF MARY FORTUNE - Lucy Sussex (ed)
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Saturday, January 2, 2010
Blog Currently Reading - The Fortunes of Mary Fortune, Lucy Sussex (ed)
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Monday, November 2, 2009
Review MEANER THAN FICTION - Lindy Cameron (ed)
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Blog Currently Reading - Meaner than Fiction, Lindy Cameron
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Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Review SHADOW ALLEY - Lucy Sussex
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Monday, September 17, 2007
ISBN
9781922147943
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