ffb: The Giant Rat of Sumatra

this is the 176th in my series of forgotten or seldom read books

Giant Rat of Sumatra, The, Richard L Boyer, alt coverThe Giant Rat of Sumatra by Richard Boyer, Warner Books 1976 mass market paperback, mystery – Sherlock Holmes pastiche

In Conan Doyle’s The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire Holmes says to Watson: “Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, it was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared…”

This 1976 pastiche by Richard Boyer tells the story. It’s a pretty fair Holmes tale, which reintroduces some familiar characters from the canon. It is the tale of Holmes involvement in the recovery of Lord Peter Allistair’s daughter Lady Alice Allistair, who was kidnapped in Bombay in 1893.

As much as I’d like to tell you more about this one, I won’t spoil the story for you. You’ll have to find out how the creature of the title is involved for yourself, and I won’t reveal which previously-encountered villain appears again here.

Suffice to say I enjoyed this and it slaked my appetite for a bit of Holmes quite nicely. Recommended.


About Rick Robinson

Enjoying life in Portland, OR
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11 Responses to ffb: The Giant Rat of Sumatra

  1. I have two copies of this one: The original mass market edition and a trade gathering three short stories, Holmes of course, with the novel.

  2. Jeff Meyerson says:

    I read this a long time ago – 1977 – and remember liking it a lot.

  3. Bill Crider says:

    I read the paperback when it came out and liked it quite a bit.

  4. I have the original mass market edition. But I haven’t gotten around to reading it. Now, I want to!

  5. realthog says:

    I read this in the UK paperback edition (Sphere, I think), and remember being entertained by it.

  6. the title is certainly no attraction

    • realthog says:

      I can’t think how the title could really be any different, being as it’s a direct quote. Besides, I’m no Sherlockian (although I’ve known a few), and I was aware of the Giant Rat of Sumatra case long before Boyer’s novel was published. It was for that reason that I picked up the novel as soon as I saw it!

  7. That title certainly got my interest, and the cover is wonderfully horrible 🙂

    • Richard says:

      There are a couple of editions of this in paperback, this is the cover I prefer. If you’re in the mood for some Holmes (pastiche), this would be a pretty good pick.

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