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The Giant Rat of Sumatra

by Jake and Luke Thoene
Series: The Baker Street Mysteries #2
160 pages, Mystery
Reviewed by Ariel_of_Narnia

A mystery full of suspects and international intrigue.

Plot

It’s the queen’s jubilee and Sherlock Holmes has been employed to check the security of London’s Tower. In turn, he picks up his band of “irregulars”: Danny, Peachy, and Duff. When costly gifts start to be replaced by clever fakes, Holmes and the Baker Street Brigade have their eyes peeled for clues.

Morality

Even if he’s rather brusque about it at times, Holmes wants the best for those he helps.

Danny, Peachy, and Duff jump at the chance to help the great detective again and throw all their efforts into solving the case. They interfere in pickpockets’ thieving. They obey with a good will. Readers probably shouldn’t mimic their undercover actions, but as this is a mystery, they are justified. When trouble befalls a friend of theirs, they do everything in their power to aid him.

Spiritual Content

The boys are Christians. While not exactly “spiritual”, tour guides of the Tower like to spook their guests by making mention of ghost sightings. As a result, Peachy worries about ghosts that night.

Violence

Danny and Duff are threatened in the tavern. Peachy is suspected of spying in a shady part of town and gets backhanded off a boat. Two boats have an accident, but it only injures the boats. Some enter a room filled with medieval torture devices. Holmes calmly suggests using a rack in order to get information (the threat was more than enough).

One man has a freak attack and knocks himself out (later, he dies from it). Another man drowns. One man hits another with the handle of a mace. Another is wounded by a bullet (it’s not serious, but it draws blood). The ghost stories from the Tower are connected with executions and murders.

Drug and Alcohol Content

Some characters smoke pipes or cigars. A couple non-central characters take a few pulls from flasks. Danny and Duff enter a tavern to look for clues.

Sexual Content

None.

Crude or Profane Language or Content

“Cripes”, “crikey”, and “cor” (euphemisms for “Christ” and “God", though they are not indicated as such in the book) are often blurted.

Conclusion

This story makes much use of the power of observation: a virtue in both detective work and common life. The topic of genuineness is not only applied to the Jubilee gifts, but to people as well. All in all, it’s a good mystery that kids can trust and learn from.

Note: The portrayal of Sherlock Holmes in this for-kids story is not necessarily accurate to the originals by Arthur Conan Doyle.

Fun Score: 5
Values Score: 5
Written for Age: 11-12

Review Rating:

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