Thursday, September 8, 2011

Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra, by Paul Gilbert

Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra
By Paul Gilbert

My foray into the world of Sherlock Holmes knockoffs continues, in spite of the fact that I haven't read the Arthur Conan Doyle works yet. My understanding is that the case of the Giant Rat of Sumatra was alluded to in one of the Doyle stories but not much in the way of details were given. Which has led people like Paul Gilbert to speculate as to what exactly the circumstances of this case might have been.

With pretty decent results, if I do say so myself. It gets underway when a ship, the Matilda Briggs, is found drifting in a London dock with no one aboard but a dying cabin boy. Things get a little more complicated when Holmes and Watson are visited by the son of a great explorer who has recently been traveling in Sumatra and various other parts of Asia.

A good chunk of the book is in the form of letters from the father to the son but to say much more would be to take a chance on spoiling things. Suffice to say that Gilbert puts forth an interesting explanation as to how this famous case played out and we'll leave it at that.

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