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Madame Midas

Fergus Hume

Book Overview: 

Madame Midas is a murder mystery, In the early days of Australia, when the gold fever was at its height.

Fergus 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 where he obtained a post as a barristers’ clerk. He began writing plays, but found it impossible to persuade the managers of the Melbourne theaters to accept or even read them. 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.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Oh, my precious mother!' as he climbed up on Slivers' shoulder.

'You always say wait,' growled Villiers, not paying any attention to Billy's interruption; 'I tell you we can't wait much longer; they'll drop on the Devil's Lead shortly, and then we'll be up a tree.'

'Then, suppose you go out to the Pactolus and see your wife,' suggested Slivers.

'No go,' returned Villiers, gloomily, 'she'd break my head.'

'Bah! you ain't afraid of a woman, are you?' snarled Slivers, viciously.

'No, but I am of McIntosh and the rest of them,' retorted Villiers. 'What can one man do against twenty of these devils. Why, they'd kill me if I went out there; and that infernal wife of mine wouldn't raise her little finger to save me.'

'You're a devil!' observed Billy, eyeing Villiers from his perch on Slivers' shoulder. 'Oh, Lord! ha! ha! ha!' going into fits of laughter; then drawing h. . . Read More

Community Reviews

Fergus Hume wrote over 140 novels but even with the huge success
of "The Mystery of the Hansom Cab" none of the others brought
him the fame he desired and, apart from the resurrection of
"Madame Midas" in the Hogarth Press "Gaslight Crime" series,
almost all of them are out of print.
Initially Miss C...more

Interesting murder tale from Hume, not as good as 'Hansom Cab' though, I rather prefer that one... Its quite a good plot with a myriad of intricacies added but I guess this is all for the reader's understanding.
The tale begins and ends with the same character presented in similar situations addi...more

Growing up around Ballarat not quite as long ago as MADAME MIDAS is set, it was really amazing to see how much of the layout of the city remains and how many of the locations are easily identifiable. Which probably meant that I ended up reading this book paying a lot more attention to the setting...more

3.5 stars

Madame Midas is the second novel by British lawyer and author, Fergusson Wright Hume, and was published in 1888. This Text Classics edition sports an evocative cover design and an introduction by Claire Wright. In her introduction, Wright explains that Hume’s tale is loosely based on a r...more

‘Villains, fallen women and the enigmatic Madame Midas herself—who could resist Hume’s brilliant characters?’
Lee Tulloch

‘Hume’s book offers a glimpse of another age of thriller writing, enriched by a study of a jarring, vibrant, deadly Melbourne.’
Courier-Mail

‘A rare treasure…Madame Midas herself...more

Scoundrels, cads, blackguard! Fergus Hume's Madame Midas has several and none worse than the young prison escapee who makes it to Australia with the intent to strike it rich one way or another. Madame is a woman whose husband 'has done her wrong' and spent her riches. She now is working to regain...more

Fergus Hume Read-All #8 of 14x

Well
This one is a mess.

It starts with a redemption of a fugitive,
but he reccess to his greed.
There is a crime, but the victmim lives, then disappears.
The setting changes too much.
It seems that he was half done with this book and the success of Hansom Cab hit, so he p...more