The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope (Library of Congress Crime Classics) (Paperback)

The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope (Library of Congress Crime Classics) By C.W. Grafton, Leslie S. Klinger (Editor) Cover Image


"Grafton's novel is not simply a historical curio, but a genuinely offbeat and entertaining suspense story."—The Washington Post

The second book in the Library of Congress Crime Classics, an exciting new classic mystery series created in exclusive partnership with the Library of Congress. In this exquisite piece of hard-boiled crime fiction, is this lawyer digging his way to the truth, or digging his own grave?

A timeless and propulsive story, The Rat Began to Gnaw the Rope is:

  • For fans of historical crime mysteries and crime classics
  • For readers who love the works of Sue Grafton

Short, chubby, and awkward with members of the opposite sex, Gil Henry is the youngest partner in a small law firm, not a hard-boiled sleuth. So when an attractive young woman named Ruth McClure walks into his office and asks him to investigate the value of the stock she inherited from her father, he thinks nothing of it—until someone makes an attempt on his life.

Soon Gil is inadvertently embroiled in a classic American scandal, subterfuge, and murder. He's beaten, shot, and stabbed, as his colleagues and enemies try to stop him from seeing the case through to the end. Surrounded by adversaries, he teams up with Ruth and her secretive brother to find answers to the questions someone desperately wants to keep him from asking.

In this portrait of America on the eve of America's entry into World War II, C.W. Grafton—himself a lawyer and the father of prolific mystery writer Sue Grafton—pens an award-winning historical crime fiction that combines humor and the hard-boiled style and will keep readers guessing until its thrilling conclusion.

About the Author

LESLIE S. KLINGER is the two-time Edgar® winning editor of New Annotated Sherlock Holmes and Classic American Crime Fiction of the 1920s. He has also edited two anthologies of classic mysteries and, with Laurie R. King, five anthologies of stories inspired by the Sherlock Holmes Canon. Klinger is the series editor of Library of Congress Crime Classics, a partnership of the Library of Congress and Poisoned Pen Press/Sourcebooks. He is a former Chapter President of the SoCal Chapter of the Mystery Writers of America and lives in Malibu, California.

Praise For…

"The superior prose and logical but surprising plot twists amply justify this volume’s reissue as a Library of Congress Crime Classic" — Publishers Weekly

"A worthy addition to an outstanding new series. " — Booklist

"Perfect for fans of A.A. Fair’s brash contemporaneous Bertha Cool/Donald Lam franchise." — Kirkus Reviews

"This book is the perfect addition to anyone’s mystery library, and I highly recommend you meet Gil Henry yourself." — Portland Book Review
Product Details
ISBN: 9781464212987
ISBN-10: 1464212988
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: June 2nd, 2020
Pages: 304
Language: English
Series: Library of Congress Crime Classics