“Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson,” said Holmes in a reminiscent voice. “It was the name of a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared.”

The Adventure of The Sussex Vampire
by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

9685362Of the many slight mentions of unrecorded tales in the Holmes stories, the clip above has inspired the most pastiches. I have three novels with this title(The Richard Boyer book does omit Sherlock Holmes and… from the title) as well as several short stories in various pastiche collections).

This one begins when Holmes is hired by an insurance company to investigate the Matilda Briggs incident. The clipper ship had drifted in forty miles and two days late from it’s original date. The cargo, tea, is intact and the crew missing except for a cabin boy who with dying breath utters the words “Death himself has come for us all!” The captain’s log is also missing.

Author Gilbert captures the voice nicely and delivers an original tale.

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