æ The Mystery of a Hansom Cab ↠´ Download by æ Fergus Hume In The Dead Of Night On A Lonely Melbourne Street, A Cabbie Discovers To His Horror That His Drunken Passenger Has Been Murdered Poisoned With A Chloroform Saturated Handkerchief The Killer, His Motive, And Even The Victim S Identity Are Unknown The Last Person To Be Seen In The Victim S Company Cannot Be Identified And Has Vanished Into The Streets Of The Australian Metropolis The Solution Lies Within A Labyrinth Of Dark Secrets, Missing Papers, Evasive Witnesses, And A Deadly Game Of BlackmailEver Since The Publication Of This Mystery, The Two Wheeled Carriage Known As A Hansom Cab Has Been Linked In The Popular Imagination With Sinister Affairs The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Was The Unlikely First Literary Product Of A Young Barrister S Clerk And Quickly Rose From Its Obscure Initial Publication To Become One Of The Th Century S Bestselling Detective Novels Reputed To Have Inspired The Creation Of Sherlock Holmes, This Ingeniously Plotted, Fast Paced, And Engrossing Tale Remains A Delight For Lovers Of Victorian Mysteries Malcolm Royston, a cabman, was driving in Collins Street East, Melbourne at 1am on the 27th July 18 when he was hailed by a gentleman who appeared to be supporting another man, presumably under the influence of too much liquor When he pulled over, he was told to take the gentleman home, as he was awfully tight He stated that he had found the man slumped by a lamp post and though he didn t know him, thought he d send him safely home But suddenly the good Samaritan appeared to recognise the drunken man, and allowing him to slump to the ground, rushed off in disgust.
Rousing him with difficulty Royston finally managed to make out that the man wanted to go to St Kilda after navigating him into his cab, which turned out to be a bit of a struggle, he was about to drive off when the original man returned He declared he would see the drunk home after all and entered the cab, seating himself next to the gentleman Royston then proceeded to head for St Kilda But a little later Royston found himself heading to the Police Station the following investigation had the police convinced they had found their murderer the ease of the arrest thrilled the investigative officer, Mr Gorby, immensely Mr Calton on the other hand wasn t so convinced his investigation was intense and thorough What would he find How would the lives of the participating players of this drama be affected What an entertaining mystery Written back in the 1880s it covers everything needed for a good mystery, with a number of characters, eccentric and otherwise It was a little tedious to read at times, but I suppose that might have to do with the time it was written For anyone who would like a glimpse into Australia s past, especially Melbourne s inhabitants of the 1800s this could interest you a lot The bottom line is that I really liked this book another ahhhhh read in my history of mystery project for 2017 It is yet another one, like The Leavenworth Case that comes right down to the wire in unmasking the killer, and yet another that belongs in the category of classic mystery fiction The story itself is a mix of crime, investigations, courtroom drama, melodrama, and elements of sensation fiction, complete with dark secrets from the past The novel begins with a report from the Argus on Saturday, the 28th of July, 18 telling its readers of an extraordinary murder that occurred in a most unlikely place a hansom cab committed by an unknown assassin, within a short distance of the principal streets of this great city, 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 would only be able to unravel it While it can be thought of as a detective novel in the sense that there are two men who are working on the case of the man who was murdered in the hansom cab in Melbourne, it is much True, there are detectives the police detective, who eventually follows the small amount of clues to make an arrest, as set against the detective hired by the accused man s attorney to prove him innocent At the same time, others are also doing their own bit of detection in this story, so to limit it by giving it the label of detective fiction isn t exactly right It also delivers some pretty strong commentary and criticism on society of the time, which is, I think, one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much The book is also notable for its view of contemporary Melbourne it takes the reader through the city streets, from the gentility of the city s gentlemen s clubs down into its darker dens of vice Add to that the elements of sensation fiction which I love and the characterizations putting aside the melodrama, it all made for a couple of days of reading pleasure It also really messes with reader expectations in a very big way recommended for those who are into this older stuff.
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I asked a Goodreads friend from Down Under what Australian and New Zealand books she d recommend to an ignorant Yank like me I d only read Australian Kerry Greenwood and Germaine Greer and Kiwi Ngaio Marsh up to that point Magda was kind enough to send me a long list of excellent authors, including Fergus Hume The English born Hume grew up in New Zealand before relocating to Melbourne Unable to get his plays even looked at much less staged he instead turned out his first mystery, The Mystery of the Hansom Cab, in 1886 It became an international sensation and inspired Sir Arthur Conan Doyle to create Sherlock Holmes and pen A Study in Scarlet.
The novel begins in colonial Australia with a cabbie picking up two gentlemen in evening dress, one of whom was falling down drunk The first gets out early, and, when the cabbie opens the door to let out the second at that gent s home, the cabbie discovers that the drunk fellow s been murdered How can the authorities track down the accompanying gentleman, who must surely be the murderer Mr Gorby, a Melbourne police detective, discovers the victim s identity and arrests a suspect about halfway through the novel But Mr Gorby s rival on the police force, Mr Kilsip, has very different ideas As with any good 19th century mystery, evidence will emerge that leads Mr Gorby to reopen the case, and the two rivals will vie along with the defense attorney Duncan Calton to be the one to bring the true murderer to justice Many modern readers decry 19th century mystery novels as dry and contrived, but The Mystery of the Hansom Cab proves as exciting as any by Lawrence Block, Sue Grafton, Dean Koontz, Tony Hillerman, Elizabeth Peters, Laurie R King, or P.
D James I couldn t put it down until I got to the very last chapter The Mystery of the Hansom Cab provides readers with a taste of an Australian classic, indeed, one that predates the Australian federation by 15 years While the novel provides a fun read in its own right, it s also nice to see the mystery that inspired the greatest fictional detective of all time, Sherlock Holmes.
Una ambientaci n exquisita del Melbourne del siglo XIX, que te transporta a los bajos fondos como si estuvieras en una peli unos personajes, bien trabajados y una trama que no decae Sin aportar nada nuevo,me ha sorprendido gratamente, me met de lleno en la historia y no sab a salirTodo lleno de misterio, en especial el se or White Buen descubrimiento.
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5 stars for the LibriVox audiobook narrated by Sibella Denton.
A fun mystery parts were a little predictable but that didn t interfere with my enjoyment Hume managed to keep me wondering about who the culprit was right to the end.
I would have known nothing about this novel and its author had it not been for listening to an interview with the author of this book The interview left me intrigued At the time I was about to spend a weekend in Melbourne, so downloading the work, which is well and truly in the public domain, seemed like a good idea The fact that it took me quite a few weeks to read, even though it s a relatively short work is an indication that I found it less than compelling However, there wasn t a time when I considered abandoning it The backstory of the author, the fact that the novel was a 19th century bestseller that out sold Conan Doyle s first work and its setting in a city I know all made me push through As the title suggests, this is a whodunnit There s a murder, a police officer or two, a falsely accused hero, a loyal heroine and some shady characters from the Melbourne underworld It has the requisite number of red herrings, some rather stilted dialogue and a resolution that can t really be worked out from clues in the narrative Crime fiction fans with an interest in the beginnings of the genre will be interested in this work than others It s not really something for the casual reader.
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