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Melvin Norvegicus.

King of the Rats is short story written by Ben Aaronovitch. The story was written exclusively for Cityread London 2015. It was read publicly by Doc Brown (Ben Bailey Smith) at the Mail Rail.[1] It was an 'extra' in the paperback Waterstones edition of The Hanging Tree, and is included in Tales from the Folly.


Peter Grant is called to a soiree at a Mail Rail engineering depot, under Mount Pleasant. There he and Jaget Kumar, since it's an underground thing, encounters Melvin Norvegicus (formerly known as Melvin Starkey). Melvin acts like, and thinks he is, a rat. After interviewing him, and discussing things with Fleet and Tyburn, Peter concludes that it's a woman (or perhaps an orangutan), who might be the genius loci of the Grand Union Canal, living in Primrose Hill who convinced Melvin that he was a rat.

List of returning characters[]

List of characters introduced in this story[]