Image of Fergus Hume


Lifetime: 1859 - 1932 Passed: ≈ 91 years ago





Fergus Hume

Ferguson Wright Hume known as Fergus Hume, was a prolific English novelist, known for his detective fiction, thrillers and mysteries.

Hume was born in Powick, Worcestershire, England, the second son of James C. Hume, a Scot and clerk and steward at the County Pauper and Lunatic Asylum there. When he was three the family emigrated to Dunedin, New Zealand, where he was educated at Otago Boys' High School and studied law at the University of Otago. He was admitted to the New Zealand bar in 1885. Shortly after graduation Hume relocated to Melbourne, Australia, where he obtained a job as a barristers' clerk. He began writing plays, but found it impossible to persuade the managers of Melbourne theatres to accept or even to read them.

Hume settled back in England, first in London, but after a few years in Thundersley, Essex at Church Cottage, probably at the invitation of the Reverend Thomas Noon Talfourd Major. Hume lived in Thundersley for thirty years, publishing in excess of 130 novels, plus several collections – most of them mystery stories, though he never recaptured the success of his first novel. He also wrote lyrics to songs composed by his brother-in-law, Charles Willeby, and book reviews for literary journals including The Bookman.

The 1911 census lists him as ‘author’, aged 51, and living at Church Cottage, Thundersley, which consisted of six rooms. He had a housekeeper, Ada Louise Peck, a widow of 69. He regularly travelled to Italy, France, Switzerland and other European countries.

When the Rev Talfourd Major died in 1915, Hume had to leave Church Cottage. He moved to ‘Rosemary Cottage’, 34 Grandview Road, Thundersley, where he lived with John Joseph Melville and his wife. Melville was a metallurgical chemist by profession, with a special study of alchemy.

Hume was reputed to be deeply religious and intensely private and known to avoid publicity, but in his later years he lectured at young people's clubs and debating societies. He died at Thundersley on 12 July 1932 and lies in an unmarked grave next to an actress and the Rev Maley. All he left in his will were some small items, like a horse blanket and a pipe. His estate was valued at £201.

Books by Fergus Hume

The Girl From Malta Cover image

The Girl From Malta

Fiction Novel
Marriage Love Mystery Death Crime Voyage Sensation

During a voyage from Australia to Britain, Ronald Monteith is fascinated by fellow-traveller, Lionel Ventin. One sultry evening, shortly before arriving at Malta, Ventin tells Monteith the sensational story of his life - of his tragic second marriage...

The Yellow Holly Cover image

The Yellow Holly

Detective Murder Truth Mystery Crime Thriller Investigative Historical Case mansion Clue

It is a thrilling mystery novel that is sure to captivate young readers. The book was first published in 1903, but its engaging plot and well-crafted characters remain relevant to this day. The story is set in the English countryside, where a wealth...

The Millionaire Mystery Cover image

The Millionaire Mystery

Fiction Novel
Detective Mystery Thriller Suspense Historical Imagination Clue Secret Motivation Plotting Investigation

It is a classic mystery novel that follows the investigation of a wealthy man's murder. The story is set in 19th century England and is full of twists and turns that keep the reader guessing until the very end. Originally published in 1901, "The Mil...

The Turnpike House Cover image

The Turnpike House

Fiction Novel
Victorian Mystery Thriller Deception Suspense Classics Historical Psychological Secret Twists Intriguing Hidden Motives

This is a captivating mystery novel that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. A renowned author known for his detective stories, this book is a must-read for fans of the genre. Originally published in 1902, The Turnpike House takes readers on a...

The Clock Struck One Cover image

The Clock Struck One

Crime Fiction Novel
Detective Murder Mystery Thriller Suspense Classics Historical Clue Secret Puzzle

First published in 1898, this classic work has stood the test of time and continues to enthrall audiences with its clever plot and intriguing characters. Set in London, the story begins with a chilling murder that takes place at precisely one o'clo...

The Pagan's Cup Cover image

The Pagan's Cup

Fiction Novel
Truth Power Ancient Thriller Deception Desire Dark Detective Fiction Secret Existence Intriguing

This is a captivating novel that takes readers on a thrilling journey through the realms of mystery and suspense. Set in an era of long-held secrets and hidden agendas, this spellbinding tale will keep readers on the edge of their seats. In this gri...

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab Cover image

The Mystery of a Hansom Cab

Fiction Drama Novel
Australian life Detective Murder Truth Mystery Thriller Justice Suspense Memory Twists Classic Literature

In the bustling streets of 19th-century Melbourne, a dark secret hides within the confines of a seemingly innocent hansom cab. Welcome to "The Mystery of a Hansom Cab," a captivating tale that delves into the depths of crime, deception, and suspense....

The Sacred Herb Cover image

The Sacred Herb

Science Fiction
Mystery Mythology Courage Sacrifice Hope Betrayal Humanity Survival Secret

Amidst the crumbling ruins of a once-thriving civilization, humanity teeters on the brink of annihilation. Disease has decimated the population, leaving behind only remnants of a once-vibrant world. Desperation hangs heavy in the air, as hope seems a...

The Bishop's Secret Cover image

The Bishop's Secret

Crime Fiction Novel
Detective Murder Mystery Loyalty Church Betrayal Darkness Secret Twists Investigation Alliances

This is an enthralling mystery novel that transports readers to the late 19th century, where secrets and deceptions lurk beneath the pious veneer of society. When the body of a wealthy and influential widow is discovered in the opulent study of the B...

The Mikado Jewel Cover image

The Mikado Jewel

Fiction Novel
Murder Widow Mystery Suspense Wealth Detective Fiction Investigation

A fog-shrouded London night. A widow found murdered in her home. A mysterious Japanese jewel at the scene of the crime. When Inspector Bucket is called in to investigate, he soon finds himself embroiled in a web of intrigue and deception. The jewel...

Lady Jim of Curzon Street Cover image

Lady Jim of Curzon Street

Crime Fiction Novel
Marriage Murder Truth Mystery Corruption Race Classics Wealth Experiences

Lady Jim of Curzon Street is a gripping mystery novel by Fergus Hume, the author of the classic The Mystery of a Hansom Cab. The novel tells the story of Leah Kaims, a young woman who is trapped in an unhappy marriage with a ne'er-do-well husband. Wh...

The Silver Bullet Cover image

The Silver Bullet

Fiction Novel
Murder Young Mystery Suspense Women Danger Investigation Exciting

In a small English village, a series of brutal murders have been committed by a mysterious figure known as the Silver Bullet Killer. Synopsis: The Silver Bullet is a classic mystery novel by Fergus Hume, first published in 1891. The novel tells the...

The Spider Cover image

The Spider

Detective Murder Mystery Crime Justice Society Corruption Hypocrisy Secret

The Spider: A mysterious figure known only as "Nemo" is terrorizing Melbourne society, blackmailing the city's most powerful and wealthy citizens. When a young woman is found murdered, Inspector Vernon is called in to investigate. But as he gets clos...

The Green Mummy Cover image

The Green Mummy

Crime Fiction
Mystery Thriller Suspense Supernatural Fiction Forbidden Love

Unearth the secrets of "The Green Mummy" by Fergus Hume, a gripping tale that will keep you on the edge of your seat from the very first page. In the heart of Victorian London, a most unusual mystery unfolds. A Forbidden Love: In the midst of London...

The Crimson Cryptogram Cover image

The Crimson Cryptogram

Fiction Novel
Murder Young Mystery Death Crime Wealth Fascinating Investigation

A mysterious crimson cryptogram, a brutal murder, and a detective determined to find the truth... In the heart of Victorian England, a young woman is found murdered in her home, the only clue a cryptic message written in blood on her sleeve. Inspect...

Secret Passage Cover image

Secret Passage

Excellent murder mystery. On September 9, 1905, the NY Times Saturday Review of Books described this book as follows: "That painstakingly ingenious person, Fergus Hume, has devised another of his hide-and-seek, jack-o'-lantern murder mysteries. It be...

Madame Midas Cover image

Madame Midas

Hume was born in England, the second son of Dr James Hume. At the age of three his father emigrated with his family to Dunedin, New Zealand. He was admitted to the New Zealand bar in 1885. Shortly after graduation he left for Melbourne, Australia whe...

Silent House Cover image

Silent House

A mystery about a "locked door" murder committed in a house that has a reputation for being haunted. In the first half of the book, the murderer appears to be easy to figure out. The second half of the book, however, is filled with plot twists and mi...

Lady from Nowhere Cover image

Lady from Nowhere

A mysterious woman is found murdered in a yellow boudoir. Who is she and where does she come from? Detective Absalom Gebb is on the case. (Introduction by MaryAnn)

Red Window Cover image

Red Window

Two former school friends, now both military men, meet again and discover both are trying to lose themselves to public gaze. Dick West has inherited the family estate, but is out of favor. "The Red Window" was used during periods of civil unrest to...

Hagar of the Pawn-Shop Cover image

Hagar of the Pawn-Shop

Hagar Stanley, a beautiful young Gypsy, is driven by sexual harassment to leave her tribe and seek refuge with her uncle Jacob, a miserly London pawnbroker. He dies after teaching Hagar the business, and she takes over running the popshop till the le...

Dwarf's Chamber And Other Stories Cover image

Dwarf's Chamber And Other Stories

Short Stories by Fergus Hume, a prolific English novelist. - Summary by Wikipedia

Red Money Cover image

Red Money

Greed and lost love collide to create dark secrets. Through twists and turns, corrupt aristocrats let family and honor overshadow love and true happiness. In the end, evil passes and good endures. (Summary by Sharon Kilmer)

Opal Serpent Cover image

Opal Serpent

An old pawnbroker is found strangled with his lips pinned together with an opal serpent broach. He has a beautiful daughter who is apparently the heir of his large estate. But another claimant has made herself known as the actual daughter of the pawn...

Showing 1 to 24 of 31 results