The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

Read by Sibella Denton

(4.6 stars; 219 reviews)

“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. …

“On the twenty-seventh day 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 who he had reason to believe had been murdered….” (Excerpt from the first chapter.) (7 hr 41 min)


Preface 6:28 Read by Sibella Denton
What the Argus Said 9:34 Read by Sibella Denton
Evidence at the Inquest 10:03 Read by Sibella Denton
One Hundred Pounds Reward 1:11 Read by Sibella Denton
Mr. Gorby Makes a Start 7:56 Read by Sibella Denton
Mrs. Hableton Unbosoms Herself 13:51 Read by Sibella Denton
Mr. Gorby Makes Further Discoveries 14:50 Read by Sibella Denton
The Wool King 16:03 Read by Sibella Denton
Brian Takes a Walk and a Drive 17:35 Read by Sibella Denton
Mr. Gorby is Satisfied at Last 20:47 Read by Sibella Denton
In the Queen's Name 14:29 Read by Sibella Denton
Counsel for the Prisoner 15:37 Read by Sibella Denton
She was a True Woman 16:09 Read by Sibella Denton
Madge Makes a Discovery 17:05 Read by Sibella Denton
Another Richmond in the Field 12:54 Read by Sibella Denton
A Woman of the People 16:21 Read by Sibella Denton
Missing 10:41 Read by Sibella Denton
The Trial 17:38 Read by Sibella Denton
Sal Rawlins Tells All She Knows 12:02 Read by Sibella Denton
The Verdict of the Jury 17:12 Read by Sibella Denton
The Argus Gives its Opinion 7:30 Read by Sibella Denton
Three Months Afterward 14:37 Read by Sibella Denton
A Daughter of Eve 9:57 Read by Sibella Denton
Across the Walnuts and the Wine 13:30 Read by Sibella Denton
Brian Receives a Letter 15:02 Read by Sibella Denton
What Dr. Chinston Said 13:45 Read by Sibella Denton
Kilsip Has a Theory of His Own 8:41 Read by Sibella Denton
Mother Guttersnipe Joins the Majority 13:53 Read by Sibella Denton
Mark Frettleby Has a Visitor 15:42 Read by Sibella Denton
Mr. Calton's Curiosity is Satisfied 11:50 Read by Sibella Denton
Nemesis 15:08 Read by Sibella Denton
Hush-Money 11:02 Read by Sibella Denton
De Mortuis nil nisi Bonum 8:50 Read by Sibella Denton
The Confession 15:35 Read by Sibella Denton
The Hands of Justice 11:57 Read by Sibella Denton
The Love that Lives 6:25 Read by Sibella Denton


The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

(5 stars)

This is a good read!! I love mysteries but not when they have so many things to keep up with and this one was so interesting. I love to listen to this narrator. She is so easy to listen to.

Cuss ya!

(5 stars)

This was a perfect mystery novel. It's exactly how I like them. There's just enough going on to keep you interested & guessing but not so much that it's ridiculous or hard to keep straight. The preface alone took me in! The Mother Guttersnipe made me giggle inside at times as she was always cussing someone (cuss ya, cuss her, cuss him, & even cuss me). It didn't matter if you said or did something she didn't like or if you were kind, you got a cuss. She's a spicy old biddy! Like the story, the reader is perfect as well. Don't pass this up!

Awesome easy to listen mystery

(5 stars)

Great story,one of the best murder mysteries I have listened to. Narrator Sibella Denton did her usual great job on this Fergus Hume's thrilling mystery of murder and who committed the murder. Lend a ear to this one for sure if you like good mystries and have a enjoyable time of it.

Excellent mystery

(5 stars)

Very great mystery one of best I have listened to. Although the murder was easy for me to figure out it still gave me doubts at times. Very awesome job of reading by Sibella Denton. Five stars on both novel and reader. Enjoy!

Hume's first crime novel is easy to listen to

(4 stars)

From Wikipedia: Hume was born in England. At the age of three his father emigrated with his family to Dunedin, New Zealand. He studied law and was admitted to the New Zealand bar in 1885. Shortly after graduation he left for Melbourne, Australia. He began writing plays, but found it impossible to persuade the managers of the Melbourne theatres to accept or even read them. Finding that the novels of Émile Gaboriau were then very popular in Melbourne, he obtained and read a set of them and determined to write a novel of a similar kind. The result was the self-published novel The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886), which became a great success. He based his descriptions of low life on his knowledge of Little Bourke Street. It eventually became the top selling mystery novel of the Victorian era, John Sutherland calling it the "most sensationally popular crime and detective novel of the century." Hume returned to England in 1888. He resided in London for few years and then he moved to the Essex countryside where he lived in Thundersley for thirty years, eventually producing over 100 novels and short stories. Hume was a capable writer of mystery stories, and may be looked upon as one of the precursors of the many writers of detective stories whose work was so popular in the twentieth century. My comments: If the term "pop fiction" existed at the time, it would be apropos of this book. It's enjoyable and easy to read, it did catch me in the story and surprised me at the end. Great fiction, maybe not, but quite nice for a rainy Saturday. This is a solo project by Sibella Denton. Sibella is a good reader - clear and easy to listen to. At times the reading is a bit quick, but that does not detract from the overall story or quality of the recording.

Good story - have listened to it 2x

(5 stars)

This story has lots of neat twists and turns. I actually listened to it 2x by mistake because I had forgotten that I had downloaded it before, and enjoyed it the second time. It's a keeper. A man is murdered, and witnesses place a certain person at the scene. The murdered man was a rival for the affections of a lady, and the other man at the scene was the other rival. Adding to the motive is the fact that the father of the young lady wanted her to marry the murdered man. Motive, opportunity, and a bad temper seem to doom this young man to the gallows, but is he guilty? Reading was fine, no complaints. Enjoy!

Interesting book

(4 stars)

I’m glad I found this book, Sibella is an excellent reader and the book was intriguing. However I had a little of an internal struggle as I live in inner city melbourne so am very familiar with all the street & place names... This made it interesting to hear about the slums & historical descriptions of the areas I know very well but unfortunately a little off-putting because most of the street/place names were pronounced incorrectly. Only fellow Aussies would probably notice and be frustrated by it but I almost stopped listening part way through because of it! I wonder if readers should research unfamiliar place names before they take on a reading to avoid this? But great job otherwise.

rather uneven mystery

(3 stars)

there were some distinct of the most florid and upsetting death scenes ive ever seen, how fabulous it was! there is a distinct undertone in this novel of disdain for indigenous peoples and for "foreigners" (chinese people) that i dont think can be explained away by a single character having bad opinions....oh and the author definitely had opinions about what women were and were not capable of. the mystery itself was nice and scandalous but core aspects of it were obvious from the beginning. but the death scene! good.