One Minute Book Review – The Mystery of a Handsome Cab by Fergus Hume


First published in 1886, this detective mystery set in Melbourne became an international best seller, outselling Sherlock Holmes’ first appearance in A Study in Scarlet. The Mystery of a Hansom Cab follows the investigation by police detective Samuel Gorby into the murder of well-connected Oliver Whyte which takes him from the mansions of St Kilda to the notorious slums of Little Bourke Street. Gorby uncovers not only the identity Whyte’s  murderer but the secrets of the wealthy Frettlby family  with whom Whyte was involved. This atmospheric novel vividly describes Melbourne in the 1880s as well as the class divisions with its extremes of rich and poor. Well worth the read.

A detailed review can be found here and background to the novel here.





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