This book is the first Sherlockian publication I know of by the author. It tells the story of Sherlock Holmes and the giant rats of Sumatra
This story includes four threads; typewriters are being stolen in London, there have been a series of documents taken from the files of Charles Darwin, children are disappearing in the dock areas of London and the test results of an obscure Austrian abbot, Gregor Mendel, have disappeared. The events that lead to Holmes' involvement in each of these separate lines area bit complex, even contrived, but they do help move the story forward.
Watson falls in love. Holmes and Watson take a short vacation to the Continent, which is cut off suddenly. They visit Charles Darwin at his request and then they head out for an area near Sumatra by way of the Andaman Islands..
Eventually, they return to London and confront the evil-doer responsible for most of the events. The resolution of the entire situation is complicated and a bit obscure. Several lines are not quite resolved but I do really admire the foremother of a truly great bad girl who turns up in the mix.
In summary, the story is interesting and moves right a long. There are holes in the logic and some of the events are difficult to justify. The editing is well done, with few errors in usage or spelling. I question several of the basic assumptions, but that is a personal thing. The plot holds together, even if it is a bit precarious and the historical characters are very well presented.
Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, May, 2011