Fergus Hume was an aspiring playwright when he moved from Dunedin to Melbourne in 1885. He wrote The Mystery of a Hansom Cab (1886) with the humble hope of bringing his name to the attention of theatre managers. The book sold out its first run almost instantly and it became a runaway word-of-mouth phenomenon - but its author sold the copyright for a mere fifty pounds, missing out on a potential fortune. Blockbuster! Is the engrossing story of a book that would help define the genre of crime fiction, and a portrait of a great city in full bloom.