After being snowed out in January, we were able to get back together for a great meeting this month. Eleven people were in attendance, and we had a lot to discuss!
First of all, there were plenty of freebies on the table. Two recent issues of the Baker Street Journal were up for grabs, as well as over a dozen back issues of the Holmes and Watson Report out of Peoria.
Joe Eckrich gave everyone a recap of the BSI Weekend that he attended back in January. We discussed the "I Am Sherlocked" event that was held at the Science Center last month. Not only were there great displays and events, we got to meet a lot of new people at the society table as they came up to talk with us that night. After that, we moved on to the annual Noble Bachelors of St. Louis dinner that was held the night after the Science Center event (it was quite a weekend). This year's dinner hosted 35 local Sherlockians. This led us to talk about the renewed Sherlockian activity in the St. Louis area. No matter the cause of the resurgence, everyone was glad to be a part of it.
Mary Schroeder filled everyone in on the status of the Sherlockian research collection currently being housed at McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois. As of April 10, the collection's new home will be the St. Louis Public Library, as part of its rare books and special collections archive. Bill and Cheryl Cochran pledged to donate any needed copies of the Baker Street Journal so that the St. Louis collection can boast a full run of the BSJ.
We briefly touched on the latest season of BBC's Sherlock, with the group split on its opinion of the latest episodes, and then moved into a discussion of books. New releases, Arthur and Sherlock by Michael Sims and The Whole Art of Detection by Lyndsay Faye both received good reviews from members. Prisoner of the Devil by Michael Hardwick, A Study in Scarlet Women by Sherry Thomas, Dust and Shadow by Lyndsay Faye, and Audible.com's new version of the complete Sherlock Holmes stories read by Stephen Fry were also recommended. I Hear of Sherlock's new podcast, Trifles, got a good review as well.
At last, it was time to discuss "The Adventure of the Blue Carbuncle" [BLUE]. Our discussion ranged far and wide. We started off trying to figure out exactly what "compliments of the season" means, and why Baker and Peterson were out drinking away from their wives on Christmas Eve (this may have had to do with Baker's wife not loving him anymore.) We analyzed what Ryder had been doing during the five days between the theft of the carbuncle and when he met Sherlock Holmes, as well as an in-depth analysis of Holmes' analysis of Henry Baker's hat.
To everyone's delight, Nellie Brown had some background knowledge of geese, and talked about the fact that even though geese don't have crops, there is a space in their throats where the stone could have been hidden. Rob Nunn brought up Peter Blau's old theory that it was a typographical error, and that the stone wasn't found in the goose's "crop," but in its "crap." Nellie explained the role of a goose's gizzard to us which shot down that theory, no matter how much it made us laugh.
We debated the actual size of the stolen carbuncle, and Bill told us of research he did into the Countess of Morcar, tracing her lineage back to Lady Godiva. As so often happens with this story, we went back and forth on if James Ryder should have been set free, and what impact this whole event would have had on the innocent plumber that still lingered in jail at the end of the story.
The meeting wrapped up shortly before 3, and we all headed back out into the snow. Our next meeting will be on May 13 to talk about "The Adventure of the Speckled Band." Come at once if convenient. If inconvenient, come all the same.