We had a BIG meeting this month! News of a big event later in the post. We had seven people in attendance: Rob, Paul, Mary, Stacey, Tassy, Steve and Nellie.
Last weekend was our last meeting of 2017, so it was time to map out next year's meeting schedule. Please mark your calendars and plan to join us for the following dates:
January 20, The Adventure of the Copper Beeches
March 10, Silver Blaze
May 12, The Adventure of the Cardboard Box
July 21, The Adventure of the Yellow Face
September 8, The Adventure of the Stockbroker's Clerk
November 10, The Adventure of the Gloria Scott
As usual, all meetings are on Saturday afternoons and will be at the Schafly branch of the St. Louis Public Library from 1:00-3:00.
Once that was figured out, Mary brought us up to date on the library collection of Sherlockian materials and asked for feedback on a dedication. It was decided unanimously that instead of a simple evening for the dedication, we would like to make a whole weekend out of it.
So the planning began.
We spent over half of our meeting throwing around ideas and discussing logistics for a big weekend in St. Louis to celebrate Sherlock Holmes and dedicate the library collection. Once we are ready to announce our plans, you can bet it will be right here on our blog first! If you would like to be part of the planning process, please email Rob at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to the email list discussing the project.
Moving on from there, we discussed a few other items in the news:
A trailer for the new movie Sherlock Gnomes is out and hopes to introduce kids to the great detective, even if it's not the classic character most of us are used to.
We discussed Insight Theatre Company's performance of Baskerville: A Sherlock Holmes Mystery. Everyone that saw the show during it's run really enjoyed it.
Rob's book, The Criminal Mastermind of Baker Street, is now available on Amazon.
The Harpooners of the Sea Unicorn had their monthly meeting the previous night. Their next meeting will be on December 15.
Speaking of the Harpooners, The Parallel Case and The Harpooners now have bookmarks. One side for each society. If you would like your own bookmark, join us at our next meeting!
The Noble Bachelors of St. Louis are in the planning stages of their annual dinner. Details will be out soon.
After we had our book giveaways, it was finally time to talk about The Adventure of the Beryl Coronet!
Alexander Holder makes quite an entrance to 221B Baker Street. After his lengthy story is told to Holmes and Watson, we discussed that it probably wouldn't be too hard to discern who his client is. Everyone seemed to agree that Prince Edward's history made him a prime candidate for this role.
Speaking of the royal client, what person thinks it's okay to use public property as collateral for a private loan?
Watson once again pays close attention to the young lady in the story. Mary is described in detail, but even Watson's description of the lady couldn't save her from the group's negative opinion of her or her conduct in this story.
And speaking of Mary, as well as her cousin, why would Holder tell these two kids about the precious collateral in his home? Holder just makes one poor decision after another in this story. This led to a discussion on who was the less intelligent client: Holder or Jabez Wilson in The Red-Headed League.
We also found it interesting that Holmes can bend a steel fireplace poker back into shape but couldn't twist the coronet into shape.
Once Holmes and Watson return to Baker Street, Holmes "hastened upstairs." This led to a discussion about the layout of the Baker Street rooms.
After that, Holmes then departs and essentially solves everything outside the purview of the reader. We found this to be a dissatisfying way of telling the story.
But, to make up for the lack of investigation the reader gets to see, we were treated with Holmes sharing his maxim, "Once you have excluded the impossible, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth."
We wrapped up our discussion with talking about the coronet and Holder's loan on it. The crown would have been valued at $250,000 in 1880, and 6 million dollars today. You could see why Holder was so upset when it was lost and damaged.
But some questions were left hanging in the air. How did the coronet get repaired? And what was the fallout for Holder and his business after this was all over? Surely, both parties in the loan transaction were worse for wear after this event!
We also talked about Brad Keefauver's post about Mary Holder and her gentleman friend. It was a conversation starter for sure!
Thanks to everyone for a great 2017! We have had some great stories to read and some even better discussions around them! Our next meeting will be on Saturday, January 20 at 1:00 to discuss The Adventure of the Copper Beeches. Come at once if convenient!