This unlikely first literary attempt by a young law clerk in Australia, published in Melbourne, became the best-selling mystery novel of the 19th century, better even than Sherlock Holmes. In the dead of night, on a dark, lonely street in Melbourne, a cabby discovers that his drunken passenger has been murdered--suffocated with a chloroform saturated handkerchief. The murderer, his motive, even the identity of the victim, is unknown.
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