The Giant Rat of Sumatra: A Sherlock Holmes Pastiche - Meh but well done nonetheless

The Giant Rat of Sumatra - Richard Boyer

One of the most famous of the "lost" tales scattered throughout Watson's stories, a fair few have tried to realize this intriguing sounding tale. The ones I've read are of varying readability but this, I think , is the best I've read yet. It makes sense and without bringing Dr. Morou (which I swear I've seen/heard done) in or another bizarre explanation.


Richard L. Boyer does a fine job of channeling Watson in this text and I felt I was actually seeing Holmes and Watson. His Holmes in particular is that odd mixture of sympathy and arrogance, understanding and maddening inability to tell anyone anything.


The plot is good, once again mixing two dissimilar cases that in the end come together. There are also call backs to the House of the Baskervilles, with Holmes sending Watson ahead while he "stays in London."

That is apparently a clue as the villain turns out to be Stapleton from that story. While it was interesting, I felt there was little to no clues leading to him. Basically, this wasn't that great of a mystery.

(show spoiler)


The mystery was...not terribly there. There were few clues, at least few I found. In this, Boyer does channel Doyle as many of his stories required you to have outside knowledge to really solve it. In this, you don't really get many clues as to who did it. I also found it, for all the good things...rather bland. It took me almost two weeks to read the thing and it was rather short. It's good, it simply didn't have that something that would have made it shine.


Yet, I liked it. The explanation of the "Giant Rat" made a decent bit of sense, though at times I was nearly (but not) bored.

It is actually a tapir turned rogue and attacking because of the recent eruption of Krakatoa.

(show spoiler)


A decent Holmes pastiche I'm glad I finally read. Well worth a look for someone interested in reading many of the Sherlock Holmes pastiches out there.