Blockbuster! : Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab - Lucy Sussex

Blockbuster!

Fergus Hume and the Mystery of a Hansom Cab

By: Lucy Sussex

Paperback | 24 June 2015

At a Glance

Paperback


RRP $32.99

$26.95

18%OFF

Aims to ship in 7 to 10 business days

'For anyone fond of detective stories or fascinated by publishing history, Blockbuster makes for highly enjoyable and informative reading.'--Washington Post

'"Fergus whom?" One might well ask before meeting this prolific author in Sussex's capacious account, set at the birth of a genre that still entertains and engages readers today: the crime novel....Provides a rich picture of Victorian life and a revealing account of late 19th-century publishing practices. She also captures a shapshot of the mystery genre as it existed before Hume's contemporary competitor, Arthur Conan Doyle, completely eclipsed him and inspired legions of imitators. Who now cares about Fergus Hume? Sussex's fascinating book reveals why all crime fiction readers should.'--Publishers Weekly

'What Blockbuster actually does best is intrigue us about everyone in the vast, tangled web around Mystery of a Hansom Cab. Frederick Trischler (the get-rich-quick man who would stumble onto success selling Hume's novel), actress Amy Horton (a champion of Hume's thanks to the daring roles he wrote for women), and Alice Cornwell (who left her husband to become a gold miner and got rich enough to buy London's Sunday Times) were such strong influences on Hume that he later fictionalized them.'--NPR

'An exemplar of cogent scholarship, engagingly presented.'--Fine Books Magazine

'Fascinating.'--Sydney Morning Herald

'Told with wit and lightly worn scholarship....Sussex has written a fine, thoroughly engaging and multifaceted history.'--The Australian

'Sussex skillfully assembles the know information about a very private man and his times, and reveals a Victorian world whose machinations and mysteries are equal to those of his most famous fiction.'--Stuff NZ

'Part literary criticism, part biography, part history...it succeeds admirably. It is well researched and well written, and evokes the literary scene in 1880s Melbourne in an informative yet entertaining way.'--Books + Publishing

Before 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. The novel sold out its first run almost instantly and became a bestseller--but Hume sold the copyright for a mere 50, missing out on a potential fortune.

Blockbuster is the engrossing story of a book that would help define the genre of crime fiction. A must-read for fans of true crime, history, and crime fiction alike.

Lucy Sussex's award-winning fiction includes books for younger readers and the novel The Scarlet Rider.

Industry Reviews
`An absorbing, at times fascinating companion to The Mystery of a Hansom Cab.' * Age *
`Told with wit and lightly worn scholarship...Sussex has written a fine, thoroughly engaging and multifaceted history. Generously, she has shared her fun with the rest of us.' * Australian *
'The book is a must-read for anyone interested in the history of crime fiction or Australian literature, but is highly recommended even if you're not: Sussex is a superb story-teller and leavens this fascinating account with dry wit. It deserves to be a blockbuster.' * Tara Sharp *
`This is a fine book about a novel that defined the burgeoning genre of crime fiction, full of wit, important discoveries and fascinating insights - like its subject, a real page-turner.' * Wormwoodiana *
`Sussex skillfully assembles the known information about a very private man and his times, and reveals a Victorian world whose machinations and mysteries are equal to those of his most famous fiction.' * Stuff NZ *
'A very interesting whodunit about a whodunit.' * North and South *
`Blockbuster! is almost too much to take in. It's a wealth of well- researched information, but readable and informative just the same. The book is equipped with bibliography, end notes, epitaphs and reviews, enough to keep the curious occupied for hours.' * Otago Daily Times *
'For those interested in the minutiae of Marvellous Melbourne, the intricacies of the theatre and publishing world and the rogues and characters who played there, this is a great read.' * Glen Eira Historical Society *
`[Sussex] provides a rich picture of Victorian life and a revealing account of late 19th-century publishing practices...Fascinating.' * Publishers Weekly *
`Blockbuster! makes for highly enjoyable and informative reading.' * Washington Post *

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