Saturday, August 20, 2016

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab by Fergus Hume

Image via Goodreads
Title: The Mystery of a Hansom Cab
Author: Fergus Hume

Release Date: 1886
Source: Project Gutenberg
Genre: Classics, Mystery, Crime


The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, the best selling mystery of the nineteenth century. When a man is found dead in a hansom cab one of Melbourne’s leading citizens is accused of the murder. He pleads his innocence, yet refuses to give an alibi. It falls to a determined lawyer and an intrepid detective to find the truth, revealing long kept secrets along the way. Fergus Hume’s first and perhaps most famous mystery... The Mystery Of A Hansom Cab.

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Two men got into a cab in the dead of night, one of whom asked to be dropped off first whilst the other was later found dead by the driver. As the story progresses, the detective who was assigned to this case, Mr. Gorby went around Melbourne looking for clues of the identities of the passengers, particularly that of the supposed murderer.

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab transported me to 19th century Melbourne. Amidst the mystery of the murder in a hansom cab, it showed me glimpses of the lifestyles of the rich and the poor Melbournians at the time.

I was particularly fascinated with the use of the Melbourne landscape in the story.  According to my literature professor, the city shapes the story. In the case of this book, I definitely see his point. The clues are part of the landscape and for some clues, they are part of the landscape as well.

The suspense kept me guessing at the identity of the murderer. I had heaps of fun playing detective throughout my read that I finished the story in one sitting.

If you're interested in the story, you can actually read it for free at Project Gutenberg, which I shall link it here.

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