Fergus Hume, 1859-1932

Portrait

Biographical note

Ferguson Wright Hume was born in England. At the age of three his father emigrated with his family to New Zealand. He attended high school in Dunedin and studied law at the University of Otago. Shortly after graduation he left for Melbourne where he obtained a post as a barrister's clerk.

After failed attempts to become a playwright, he decided to write a novel instead. Not knowing what to write:

"I enquired of a leading Melbourne bookseller what style of book he sold most of He replied that the detective stories of Gaboriau had a large sale; and as, at this time, I had never even heard of this author, I bought all his works — eleven or thereabouts — and read them carefully. The style of these stories attracted me, and I determined to write a book of the same class; containing a mystery, a murder, and a description of low life in Melbourne."

The result was The Mystery of a Hansom Cab, which became a great success after he self-published.

After the success of his first novel, Hume returned to England. He resided in London for few years and then he moved to the Essex countryside where he lived in Thundersley for thirty years.

Works

  • Professor Brankel's Secret [1886]
  • The Girl from Malta [1889]
  • The Piccadilly Puzzle (Also published as: Dowker - Detective) (short stories) [1889]
  • The Gentleman Who Vanished (US Title: The Man Who Vanished) [1889]
  • The Man with a Secret [1890]
  • Miss Mephistopheles (Also published as: Tracked by Fate; or, Miss Mephistopheles) [1890]
  • Whom God Hath Joined [1891]
  • Monsieur Judas [1891]
  • A Creature of the Night [1891]
  • The Year of Miracle [1891]
  • When I Lived in Bohemia [1892]
  • The Island of Fantasy [1892]
  • The Chronicles of Faeryland [1892]
  • Alladin in London [1892]
  • The Fever of Life [1892]
  • The Black Carnation [1892]
  • The Harlequin Opal [1893]
  • The Chinese Jar [1893]
  • A Speck of the Motley [1893]
  • A Midnight Mystery [1894]
  • The Nameless City [1894]
  • The Gates of Dawn [1894]
  • The Best of Her Sex [1894]
  • The Lone Inn [1894]
  • The Mystery of Landy Court (US Title: From Thief to Detective) [1894]
  • The Crime of 'Liza Jane' [1895]
  • The White Prior [1895]
  • The Carbuncle Clue [1896]
  • Tricked by a Tattoo [1896]
  • The Expedition of Captain Flick [1896]
  • The Dwarf's Chamber and other stories (short stories) [1896]
  • A Marriage Mystery [1896]
  • Claude Duval of Ninety-Five [1897]
  • The Tombstone Treasure [1897]
  • Hagar of the Pawn-Shop (short stories) [1898]
  • Under One Cover [1898]
  • The Clock Struck One [1898]
  • Lady Jezebel [1898]
  • The Rainbow Feather [1898]
  • The Devil-Stick (US Title: For the Defense) [1898]
  • The Silent House in Pimlico (US Title: The Silent House) [1899]
  • The Red-Headed Man [1899]
  • The Indian Bangle [1899]
  • The Crimson Cryptogram [1900]
  • A Traitor in London [1900]
  • Shylock of the River [1900]
  • The Lady from Nowhere [1900]
  • The Bishop's Secret (US Title: Bishop Pendle; or, The Bishop's Secret) [1900]
  • The Vanishing of Tera [1900]
  • A Woman's Burden [1901]
  • The Golden Wang-Ho (US Title: The Secret of the Chinese Jar) [1901]
  • The Millionaire Mystery [1901]
  • The Mother of Emeralds [1901]
  • The Crime of the Crystal [1901]
  • The Turnpike House [1902]
  • Woman: The Sphinx [1902]
  • The Pagan's Cup [1902]
  • The Guilty House [1903]
  • The Jade Eye [1903]
  • The Miser's Will [1903]
  • A Coin of Edward VII [1903]
  • The Yellow Holly [1903]
  • The Silver Bullet [1903]
  • The Wheeling Light [1904]
  • The White Room [1904]
  • The Mandarin's Fan [1904]
  • The Red Window [1904]
  • The Lonely Church [1904]
  • The Fatal Song [1905]
  • The Scarlet Bat [1905]
  • Lady Jim of Curzon Street [1905]
  • The Opal Serpent [1905]
  • The Wooden Hand [1905]
  • The Black Patch [1906]
  • The Dancer in Red (short stories) [1906]
  • Jonah's Luck [1906]
  • The Mystery of the Shadow [1906]
  • The Yellow Hunchback [1907]
  • The Purple Fern [1907]
  • Flies in the Web [1908]
  • The Sacred Herb [1908]
  • The Sealed Message [1908]
  • The Mystery of a Motor Cab [1908]
  • The Amethyst Cross [1908]
  • The Top Dog [1909]
  • The Disappearing Eye [1909]
  • The Solitary Farm [1909]
  • The Devil's Ace [1909]
  • The Spider [1910]
  • The Mikado Jewel [1910]
  • The Peacock of Jewels [1910]
  • The Lonely Subaltern [1910]
  • The Rectory Governess [1911]
  • The Steel Crown [1911]
  • The Pink Shop [1911]
  • High Water Mark [1911]
  • The Jew's House [1911]
  • Mother Mandarin [1912]
  • Across the Footlights [1912]
  • A Son of Perdition [1912]
  • Red Money [1912]
  • The Blue Talisman [1912]
  • Seen in the Shadow [1913]
  • In Queer Street [1913]
  • The Thirteenth Guest [1913]
  • The Curse [1913]
  • The 4 P.M. Express [1914]
  • Not Wanted [1914]
  • The Lost Parchment [1914]
  • Answered: A Spy Story [1915]
  • The Caretaker [1915]
  • The Red Bicycle [1916]
  • The Silent Signal [1917]
  • The Grey Doctor [1917]
  • The Black Image [1918]
  • Next Door [1918]
  • Heart of Ice [1918]
  • Crazy-Quilt [1919]
  • The Master-Mind [1919]
  • The Dark Avenue [1920]
  • The Other Person [1920]
  • The Singing Head [1920]
  • The Woman Who Held On [1920]
  • The Unexpected [1921]
  • Three [1921]
  • A Trick of Time [1922]
  • The Moth-Woman [1923]
  • The Whispering Lane [1924]
  • The Caravan Mystery [1926]
  • The Last Straw [1932]
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