Get a Clue 

"Matilda Briggs was not the name of a young woman, Watson, ... it was a ship which is associated with the giant rat of Sumatra, a story for which the world is not yet prepared." — from "The Adventure of the Sussex Vampire" by Arthur Conan Doyle

It was an intriguing but never-followed-up line from the Sherlock Holmes oeuvre. What it means is up to debate. What is clear is that the Giant Rats of Sumatra, a group of Memphis Holmes fanatics, is going strong after three-plus decades and new members are welcome.

"It's a love of Sherlock Holmes, the master detective," explains Robert Campbell, First Garrideb of the Giant Rats, of the group's membership. "Everybody brings his own awareness, his own sets of likes and dislikes, whether it be characterization, plot, or the sheer mystery of everything. Holmes is one of the most loved characters ever created for fiction."

Each year, the Giant Rats gather for a dinner in honor of Holmes' birthday on January 6th. The dinners usually include a speaker or live entertainment. This year's dinner, January 8th at the University Club, features music by Marshall Fine, a composer and assistant principal violist of the Memphis Symphony Orchestra, and a menu created by Chef Andrew Salguero that includes beef and mushroom pie and fisherman's pie. The dinners are themed around Conan Doyle's stories. This year's theme: "The Adventure of the Empty House" and "The Adventure of the Engineer's Thumb." Remember this, as you will be tested. "Every year, there's a quiz," Campbell says. "You have to really read the stories closely."

For those interested in joining the Giant Rats, membership is $5. Or, if you attend the dinner, membership is included in the $45 price for the event.

"As long as there's an interest in Sherlock Holmes and there's somebody to put together an annual dinner," Campbell says, "there should be a Giant Rats of Sumatra well into the future."

Giant Rats of Sumatra Dinner, 6-9:30 p.m., Saturday, January 8th, at the University Club. $45. Cut-off date for reservations is Tuesday, January 4th: giantratshotmailcom.

Keep the Flyer Free!

Always independent, always free (never a paywall),
the Memphis Flyer is your source for the best in local news and information.

Now we want to expand and enhance our work.
That's why we're asking you to join us as a Frequent Flyer member.

You'll get membership perks (find out more about those here) and help us continue to deliver the independent journalism you've come to expect.



Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment



Film/TV/Etc. Blog

Music Video Monday: John Kilzer

Beyond the Arc

Trade Deadline Forces Grizz into a Tough Gasol Decision

Tiger Blue

Tigers 83, SMU 61

Politics Beat Blog

In Brief Address, Governor Bill Lee Takes the Oath in Nashville

News Blog

Haslam Grants Clemency to 23 on Last Day

Music Blog

Listen Up: Bailey Bigger

Hungry Memphis

Midtown Donuts Opening February 1st

Fly On The Wall Blog

On Gannett, The Commercial Appeal, and Digital First

News Blog

Memphians Vie to be Best Pinball Player in State

Politics Beat Blog

No Surprise: Strickland Announces for Reelection


More by Susan Ellis

Readers also liked…

© 1996-2019

Contemporary Media
460 Tennessee Street, 2nd Floor | Memphis, TN 38103
Visit our other sites: Memphis Magazine | Memphis Parent | Inside Memphis Business
Powered by Foundation