Born in New Zealand, Lucy Sussex moved with her family to Townsville in 1971, after living in France and England. She was awarded her M.A. (Librarianship) from Monash University in 1982, and in her Ph.D. in 2005 with her thesis Cherchez les Femmes: the Lives and Literary Contributions of the first Women to Write Crime Fiction from the University of Wales, Cardiff. She was working as a research assistant at the University of Melbourne when she uncovered 'Waif Wanderer' as Mary Fortune, one of Australia's first women crime writers, and has subsequently published on the topic as well as working as an editor. Known for writing reviews (The Sunday Age and The West Australian), literary criticism, horror and detective stories, Sussex has republished 19th century Australian female crime writers, including Ellen Davitt's 1865 Force and Fraud (Mulini, 1993) which is thought to be Australia's first murder mystery book. Her work includes both scholarly and creative writing. Anthologies she has compiled include the genres of feminist fantasy and young readers. She has been involved in writing workshops, spoken at sci-fi and fantasy conventions, and judged sci-fi writing awards. Sussex, as Senior Research Fellow at Melbourne University, has been involved in projects ranging from Australian writers and journalists in London to Victorian diarists.
'Before there was Arthur Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes, there was Fergus Hume’s The Mystery of a Hansom Cab—the biggest- and fastest-selling detective novel of the 1800s, and Australia’s first literary blockbuster.
'Fergus Hume was an aspiring playwright when he moved from Dunedin to Melbourne in 1885. He wrote The Mystery of a Hansom Cab 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. Rigorously researched and full of arresting detail, this captivating book is a must-read for all fans of true crime, history and crime fiction alike.' (Publication summary)
'Why are certain subjects so difﬁcult to talk about? What is justice? Why do writers think that other people’s lives are fair game? And what do we really know about the first chemist?
'A story about history, women, science (and also the demonic); a crime story, based upon a true crime; a realist satire of the supposedly sex-savvy; and a story exploring lies, and the space between the real and the unreal. Welcome to the worlds of Lucy Sussex, and to her many varied modes.'