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The Girl from Malta by Fergus Hume

The Girl from Malta

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 The Girl from Malta by  Fergus Hume

“The Girl from Malta”

is a gripping mystery novel by Fergus Hume, first published in 1902. Set in the Mediterranean island of Malta, the novel tells the story of a young woman named Juliette Romaine, who becomes embroiled in a murder case while on holiday with her aunt.

Juliette is a beautiful and intelligent young woman who is well-traveled and well-educated. She is excited to spend some time in Malta with her aunt, Lady Pollexfen, and is looking forward to exploring the island’s rich history and culture. However, her vacation takes an unexpected turn when she meets a young man named Richard Darrell, who is accused of murder.

Richard is a handsome and charming young man, but he has a dark past and a reputation for being a troublemaker. He is suspected of murdering his uncle, who was a wealthy landowner on the island. Despite the overwhelming evidence against him, Richard maintains his innocence and insists that he is being framed.

Juliette is immediately drawn to Richard and is convinced of his innocence. She takes it upon herself to investigate the case and to clear his name. As she delves deeper into the mystery, she uncovers a web of deceit and betrayal that threatens to destroy everything she holds dear.

“The Girl from Malta” is a classic whodunit that will keep readers guessing until the very end. Fergus Hume is a master of suspense and his writing is full of vivid descriptions and intriguing characters. The novel is set against the backdrop of the stunning Maltese landscape, and Hume’s descriptions of the island’s architecture, history, and culture add to the novel’s allure.

One of the strengths of “The Girl from Malta” is its portrayal of Juliette as a strong, intelligent, and independent woman. In a time when women were often relegated to the sidelines, Hume’s portrayal of Juliette as a capable and determined heroine was groundbreaking. She is a refreshing change from the stereotypical damsel in distress, and her character adds depth and complexity to the novel.

The novel also explores themes of love, loyalty, and betrayal. Juliette and Richard’s relationship is at the heart of the novel, and their love story is both tender and passionate. However, their relationship is threatened by the dark secrets that Richard is hiding, and Juliette must decide whether to stand by him or to abandon him in his time of need.

Overall, “The Girl from Malta” is a well-written and engaging mystery novel that is sure to delight fans of the genre. Its combination of suspenseful plot twists, vivid descriptions, and memorable characters make it a classic that has stood the test of time. Hume’s writing is still as fresh and exciting today as it was over a century ago, and “The Girl from Malta” is a must-read for anyone who loves a good mystery.

The novel’s setting in Malta is a major highlight of the book. Hume’s descriptions of the island’s culture, history, and architecture add depth and richness to the story. The novel is set in the late 19th century, and Malta is depicted as a vibrant and cosmopolitan society, full of diverse cultures and traditions.

The novel’s portrayal of Malta is also notable for its focus on the island’s history. Hume weaves in elements of Maltese history and folklore throughout the novel, creating a sense of depth and authenticity to the story. This historical context is particularly interesting, as Malta has a rich and complex history, having been occupied by various empires throughout its history.

In addition to the novel’s setting, the characters are also a strong point. Juliette is a dynamic and relatable protagonist, who is determined to solve the mystery at the heart of the novel. She is a skilled investigator and is not afraid to take risks to uncover the truth. Her relationship with Richard is also well-drawn, and their romance adds an emotional depth to the story.

Richard, meanwhile, is a complex and enigmatic character. He has a troubled past, and his motivations throughout the novel are often unclear. This ambiguity adds tension to the story, as readers are left wondering whether he is truly innocent or not. The other characters in the novel, including Lady Pollexfen and the various suspects in the murder case, are also well-drawn and memorable.

The plot of the novel is also engaging and suspenseful. The murder case at the heart of the story is complex and full of twists and turns. Hume keeps readers guessing throughout the novel, and the resolution is satisfying and surprising.

One potential criticism of the novel is that some elements may seem dated to modern readers. The novel was written over a century ago, and some of the attitudes and beliefs depicted in the book may seem old-fashioned or even offensive to modern readers. However, it is worth noting that Hume was a progressive writer for his time, and his portrayal of Juliette as a strong and independent woman was groundbreaking.

Overall, “The Girl from Malta” is a well-crafted mystery novel that is still enjoyable to read today. Its setting in Malta, engaging characters, and suspenseful plot make it a classic of the genre. Fans of mystery novels will enjoy this book, as will anyone interested in Maltese history and culture.


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