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Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra…
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Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra

by Alan Vanneman

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With a title like that, you know it's not meant to be taken seriously. I'm fine with that. But well, it wasn't any fun either. One of Watson's acquaintances comes asking for help only to be murdered the next day by a mysteriously rodentine assailant. Holmes and Watson set off to Asia to track down the bad guy. Watson turns into a ladies' man, ending up in a Singapore brothel. Holmes has a crush on a Chinese woman. They find the bad guy and kill him.

And yet, like I said, it wasn't much fun. I got pretty tired of it. The whole romantic angle added nothing to the story. The only thing I liked about it was Captain Macdougall, a strangely named African Muslim. I liked him a lot. Whenever he left the story, I got bored.

Maybe for Holmesians, but I'm not going to read more by this author. ( )
  cmbohn | Jun 10, 2009 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0786709561, Hardcover)

"A story for which the world is not yet prepared.” In these words Dr. John Watson, in The Case Book of Sherlock Holmes, describes the legend of Harat, the gigantic rat who ruled over the nation of Bada and its “people who were not human.” Their story, hidden for more than a century in Dr. Watson’s dispatch box, is now told at last—in a tale as compelling and colorful as any in the Holmes canon. What begins with a brutal “impossible” murder in a dreary London rooming house soon draws the celebrated master of detection, Sherlock Holmes, and his companion, Dr. Watson, into a hunt that takes them from England to Egypt, to India, and on to Singapore before encountering Harat, a creature even With a case as confounding as any in the original Holmes canon and a tale so terrifying it lay hidden for more than a century in Dr. Watson’s dispatch box, Sherlock Holmes and the Giant Rat of Sumatra begins familiarly enough. Elizabeth Trent, a bereft widow determined to clear her husband’s name of both suicide and embezzlement, visits literature’s most celebrated detective at his Baker Street flat. Within hours, though, Mrs. Trent herself is dead, and her curious suicide note draws Holmes and Watson into a hunt for a brutal murderer that takes them from England to Egypt, to India, and finally to the city Mrs. Trent has fled—rich, mysterious Singapore. Throughout the course of their sea journey Holmes and Watson contend with a series of formidable foes, and continually the two travelers uncover connections between their enemies and the cunning, ruthless colonial master of Singapore, Lord Barington. They also find an ally in the captain of the Prophet, who tutors them in the mysteries of Bada—a nation of subhumans ruled by the gigantic rat Harat. And in the exquisite Widow Han, keeper of the secrets of Singapore, they find an ally and more, as her exotic charms threaten to undo even the inscrutable sleuth’s defenses against the fair sex. “A rollicking adventure story ... [that] puts a superb spin on the intellectual byplay between Holmes and Watson.... Splendidly written homage.”—Chicago Sun-Times

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:29 -0400)

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