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Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra

Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra by M. J. Trow Thistle Publishing General Fiction (Adult) , Mystery & Thrillers Pub Date 24 May 2018


The first word that comes to mind when considering Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra is “weird”. It is an unusual book that has its own distinctive charm. Set in the early years of the 20th century, this quirky police procedural is both funny and disturbing at once. I’ve never read anything quite like it.

Chief Inspector Walter Dew is writing his memoirs, and it has finally come time for him to share a perplexing case headed by Superintendent Sholto Lestrade. Lestrade, Dew and their new constables Bang and Olufsen are tasked with solving an array of murders from an insane man wandering the streets to an investigative reporter and a prominent doctor. Each were killed by arsenic - administered in two small wounds. What links the victims? What is occurring in the sewers beneath? The answers are far stranger - and the killers are far more dangerous than Lestrade and his cohort expects.

Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra will not be everyone’s cup of tea. Parts are very entertaining and other parts are just - well - strange. It definitely isn’t your normal historical mystery.

3 / 5

I received a copy of Lestrade and the Giant Rat of Sumatra from the publisher and in exchange for an honest review.

— Crittermom


Everybody, they say, has a book in them. Retired Chief Inspector Walter Dew certainly did. And it took him back to the good old days, when coppers lived in station houses, that nice Mr Campbell-Bannerman was at Number Ten, and Britain had the biggest empire in the world. But, under the streets of London, something stirred. More than that, there was a muttering that grew to a grumbling and the grumbling grew to a mighty rumbling. Then out of the houses, the bodies came tumbling! Superintendent Sholto Lestrade, with Dew by his side and the rookies Bang and Olufsen in his wake, must go Below to face their demons, to find a murderer whose machinations will upset the infrastructure of the richest city on earth. Will any of them live to tell Dew’s tale? The tale of a rat. M J Trow has written this seventeenth in the Lestrade series after a gap of seventeen years, in which the sallow-faced superintendent has never been far from his thoughts. With characters such as Sergeant Bill ‘Wall’ Pepper and Inspector ‘Blabber’ Pearson of the Press Liaison Department sprinkled throughout, this genuine puzzle is also features as ever the wry humour and laugh out loud moments which fans of the accident-prone policeman have come to love.

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