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Lot No. 249

3.64  ·  Rating details ·  776 ratings  ·  106 reviews
From the master of the detective story and creator of Sherlock Holmes, the first ever tale to feature a supernatural mummy
Paperback, Penguin Little Black Classics, 51 pages
Published 2016 by Penguin Classics (first published 1892)
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Average rating 3.64  · 
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 ·  776 ratings  ·  106 reviews

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Sam Quixote
1884 Oxford and a medical student buys up a bunch of Egyptian stuff at an auction – including lot no. 249: a mummy! Shortly after, the medical student’s (laughable) “enemies” start getting attacked by a mysterious assailant. Surely it’s not the mummy, what??

Arthur Conan Doyle may have written some stonking good detective yarns with Sherlock Holmes but his attempt at horror in Lot No. 249 is pretty crap.

I’ve never found Conan Doyle’s writing to be especially standout and it’s very plodding and
Dannii Elle
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
Although not horrifying by today's standards, this was still a clever little tale and was an interesting look at where more modern day mummy appearances got their roots.
K. Elizabeth
2.5 / 5

This was read for my Gothic Fiction class. And while I can appreciate how Arthur Conan Doyle was the first person to write a story about an evil mummy (thank you Google), and to do a good representation of how the Victorians were obsessed with mummies and Egypt, I just found this story a little dull/confusing. I'm not sure what could have made this better, but I felt an overall feeling of ehh while reading. And that's, well, eh?
Dec 25, 2018 rated it really liked it
such a strange little story!
but defiantly unique and very nicely told.

clearly it’s not for everyone but i think hat if you enjoy a different story with supernatural elements sprinkled into it this will entertain you.

i will reread this in the near future when i want a nice mummy story!

Victorian ghost stories have this quintessential Englishness about them. This example from Doyle is a good one, featuring a mummy :0) Not really horror, and this is from someone who is rubbish at horror, but it works, and I think that’s because the setting is as important. It did remind me a little of M.R. James, but I guess that’s normal.

I just realised that I have lots of these Penguin Little Black Classics ( and that I really should get through them
Michael Gerald
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is best known for his Sherlock Holmes stories and the Lost World, but he also wrote a few horror stories, among which are about mummies. And the story "Lot No. 249" is probably his best short story, and a creepy one at that.

With old Oxford University as the setting, this tale is about a group of students sharing the same building for their lodgings. One is a medical student, the other's course of study unmentioned, and the third with an interest in Eastern languages and i
Jan 10, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I was kinda disoppointed in the end, it was really easy and without any difficulties or complications.
Jan 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a fun little gothic horror story that I had no idea even existed until recently. I love this author’s Sherlock Holmes so had great expectations from this book. This is about three young men who are students of Oxford University and one of them who is an Egyptologist owns a mummy. Then some strange creepy events start happening involving this supernatural mummy.
The back of the book says that this is the first ever tale to feature a supernatural Egyptian mummy. I loved it.
Read all my reviews on

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is credited for being the first to write an evil mummy story. This is that story. I thought it was an interesting read, not in the least because these type of Victorian horror stories would hardly be called that today. The story is in fact rather slow. But what I liked about it most was how it showed the total craze for mummies/everything Egyptian that was ongoing at the time.

~Little Black Classics #121~
Riju Ganguly
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
One of the underrated and less-appreciated classics of ACD, this story has actually acted as a template for lots and lots of works based on this particular genre.
Which genre?
Sorry Sir. Telling that might ruin your pleasure. However, my humble advice to you would be to read this classic story of horror as soon as possible, especially since it's available free online!
Leni - The White Book Cottage
Sep 23, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-2017
The best of the little black classics so far!
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
A tiny little dip into the world of mystery/horror that is entertaining but not hugely shocking for modern readers. The main character is as bland as bread, but the story isn't really about him it's about his mysterious ancient Egypt-obsessed classmate/housemate.

Overall the story is pretty tame by modern standards, but it was entertaining enough to hold my attention, and interesting as he first story to feature an Egyptian mummy with magic powers. From little things big things have grown and thi
Vy (thelibrocubicularist)
A light and quick read that will keep you entertained during a flight or a commute, though without any of the clever twists and details that I would expect from Arthur Conan Doyle. The story is very simple and straightforward. Save it for when you have time to kill, but if you're looking for more brain-stimulation I would stick to the Sherlock novels.
This was the most amazing short story I've ever read(I haven't read that many though) ugh it perfect in every way. The reason I read it is because we've been studying and reading gothic literature in English--this is Definately gothic 100%
Recommend this to mummy lovers
Apr 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Even without Sherlock Holmes, Conan Doyle wrote really enjoyable stories.
Absolutely loved this book...very quick read, but thoroughly enjoyable.
Contrary Reader
Sep 30, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well I’ve read this story, courtesy of a Ladybird Horror edition I had as a child, so the plot was well thumbed. Yet, Doyle still manages to rain unease down and anxiety abounds as the pace picks up (much like his Holmes stories). Sterling stuff. Can see the similarities with Marsh’s ‘The Beetle’ too
Oct 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I thought this book was still related with Sherlock, but the author wrote so much differently, but still about mystery that kind of Sir Arthur, so far i enjoyed the book, why I didn't read it right away at that time ? 😅
44 pages of properly creepy stuff. Abercrombie Smith is a young medical student an Oxford. His rooms are above those of Edward Bellingham, an Eastern studies specialist who has recently bought a 4,000 year old mummy. Following a series of strange episodes, Smith discovers that Bellingham is hiding a dark, threatening secret. Conan Doyle achieves the perfect balance of realism and supernatural in this story; it’s chilling and scary without being over the top. At 44 pages long, it’s an ideal story ...more
Sen Ita
Jun 02, 2016 rated it liked it
Good fun - very Jekyll and Hyde in style
Lauren (Cook's Books)
May 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
The first mummy in western lit???? yes please
Katrina Waldman
Having finished one collection of short ghost stories, my appetite for the paranormal was not yet satisfied. I bought this little book fairly recently and I did so on the basis that it would be spooky! It's written by the same man that wrote the 'Sherlock Holmes' stories of course, and I'm a big fan of his writing style. But it was learning that this book is the first ever paranormal story about an Egyptian Mummy that really drew my attention, and rightly so. This was a short, fun read that took ...more
This is an odd little tale of three Victorian students and an Egyptian mummy bought as Lot 249 at auction. As one of the three considers himself an aficionado of Eastern cultures, he becomes immersed in studying the mummy, often locking himself in his room at night. Soon, strange sounds are heard from his room, and he is found in an unconscious state. Afterwards, various attacks begin to happen on the streets. Could it be … the mummy?!?!?!

Although I enjoyed this, there was a severe lack of suspe
Daniela  Pérez Nava
I'm approaching Arthur Conan Doyle's work through his short stories before reading Sherlock Holmes. I've read 2 Valdemar compilations called "La Maldición de la Momia" and "Quién anda ahí..." and I realized some of my favorites were Doyle's stories.
So, when I read this book I was hoping all the stories to be like the ones I loved in the anthologies so I can fall in love with this author for once.

That didn't happen.
When I finished the book, I found I just truly liked 5 of the 11 short stories.

Eilis O sullivan
Jan 12, 2019 rated it it was amazing
As a short story showing the ugly side of obsession and power seeking Conan Doyle does a really good job of expressing the terror and suspense of an occult monster. The fact that the mummy is never completely described when alive is irrelevant since he gives all the imagery to work with on our first introduction to it. When the medical Student Abercrombie Smith first sees the Mummy the details of the long curving fingernails, 6ft 7'' tall stature and dead pan eyes is flashed in your eyes as you ...more
Gumbo Ya-ya
Dec 17, 2018 rated it it was ok
This was a fun little sketch. Doyle's setting of scene and the minimal methods by which he establishes characters, along with his strongly lyric prose were the main highlights for me. The tale itself seemed sadly devoid of dread for a story about a supernatural mummy being animated to pursue the dark desires of a petty jealous man. This story could have benefited from being significantly longer. Maybe not quite enough for a novel in here, but definitely a solid novella. Also, I think if it had b ...more
Just finished listening to the audible version of “LOT NO. 249” by SIR ARTHUR CONAN DOYLE and narrated by B.J. HARRISON. Unexplained events are happening at Oxford these days. Several students have been attacked at night by some strange form of wild animal. It can scale walls with cat-like agility. Its arms are as thin and as strong as steel bands. And there is one student who conducts midnight studies in his room with certain Egyptian artifacts. The most significant of which is a 6'7" tall mumm ...more
Oct 24, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: mummies, horror
This was more like it. After being disappointed by Conan Doyle's "Captain of the Pole-Star," I loved the mystery and building horror of "Lot No. 249." It's easy to figure out what's going on ahead of the main character, but that doesn't diminish the extremely cool Old Oxford setting, the excitement of the main character's finally figuring it out, and a crazy great description of his being stalked by a truly dreadful creature.
Ursula Johnson
This was interesting to hear one of Conan Doyle's short stories. Interesting to note he enjoyed tales of the paranormal. While we are very familiar with mummy tales today, in his day, this was undoubtedly was ground breaking. Told more from a scientific view as opposed to a spiritual one. As usual, a superb performance from B.J. Harrison, he properly conveys the varied voices and tone of the story. A fun short tale.
Sam Saffron
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a very good book!

I detest horror yet I found this utterly, utterly exhilarating!

The first book to feature an evil Egyptian mummy being brought back to life (which - as specific as it sounds - is awfully common) and it's wonderful.

It took me an hour or so to finish and it left me wanting so much more.

No-brainer, buy it for £1 and read it!
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Sir Arthur Conan Doyle was born the third of ten siblings on 22 May 1859 in Edinburgh, Scotland. His father, Charles Altamont Doyle, a talented illustrator, was born in England of Irish descent, and his mother, born Mary Foley, was Irish. They were married in 1855.

Although he is now referred to as "Conan Doyle", the origin of this compound surname (if that is how he meant it to be understood) is u

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