The Mystery of the Hansom Cab
"'A crime has been committed by an unknown assassin, within a short distance of the principal streets of this great city, and is surrounded by an impenetrable mystery...'.
"Read all about it! The Mystery of the Hansom Cab is the original Australian blockbuster and international best-selling crime novel. First published in 1886, this vivid and brilliantly plotted murder thriller, set in the charming and deadly streets of marvellous Melbourne, has sold hundreds of thousands of copies around the world. More than a century later, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab has lost none of its page-turning power. This new edition, introduced by Simon Caterson, reproduces for the first time the text of the original Australian printing.
"'Having completed the book, I tried to get it published, but everyone to whom I offered it refused even to look at the
manuscript on the grounds that no Colonial could write anything worth reading.'
"One of the 100 best crime novels of all time" - Sunday Times
"Fiendishly cunning. Hume weaves a sticky web of intrigue." - Shane Maloney
The following report appeared in the Argus newspaper of Saturday, the 28th July, 18_:_
'Truth is said to be stranger than fiction, and certainly the extraordinary murder which took place in Melbourne on Thursday night, or rather Friday morning, goes a long way towards verifying this saying. A crime has been committed by an unknown assassin, within a short distance of the principal streets of this great city, and is surrounded by an impenetrable mystery. Indeed, from the nature of the crime itself, the place where it was committed, and the fact that the assassin has escaped without leaving a trace behind him, it would seem as though the case itself had been taken bodily out of one of Gaboriau's novels, and that his famous detective Lecoq only would be able to unravel it. The facts of the case are simply these:-
'On the twenty-seventh of July, at the hour of twenty minutes to two o'clock in the morning, a hansom cab drove up to the police station, in Grey Street, St Kilda, and the driver made the startling statement that his cab contained the body of a man whom he had the reason to believe had been murdered.'
From the Text Publishing paperback edition, 1999.
This page and its contents are copyright © 2001 by Perry Middlemiss, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.Return to Larrikin Literature Page.
Last modified: September 21, 2001.