The father of Australian crime fiction ...
If Corris is the father of Australian crime fiction because of his emphasis on local settings, then Fergus Hume deserves to be called the grandfather for the same reason. Here's Hume from a preface to The Mystery of a Hansom Cab: "Having completed the book, I tried to get it published, but every one to whom I offered it refused even to look at the manuscript on the ground that no Colonial could write anything worth reading."
And here is just one of several similar references from the body of this 1886 novel: "But it is impossible that the body can remain long without being identified by someone, as though Melbourne is a large city, yet it is neither Paris nor London, where a man can disappear in a crowd and never be heard of again."
Seldom can there have been a crime novel more conscious of its setting.
© Peter Rozovsky 2007
Australian crime fiction