Meeting number 15 was conducted on Tuesday, June 19, 2018, and began at 7pm as usual. Attending was Henry, Barry, Candace, Barbara, Adam, Pat, Michelle, Bill, Rick, and myself (Tom).
Preview of our next meeting...
“God help us!” said Holmes after a long silence.
“Why does fate play such tricks with poor, helpless worms? I never hear of such a case as this
that I do not think of Baxter’s words, and say, ‘There, but for the grace of God, goes Sherlock Holmes.’ ”
Meeting number 14 was conducted on Tuesday, May 15, 2018, and began at 7pm as usual. Attending was Barry, Candace, Pat, Rick, Bill, Beth, Michelle, Henry, and myself (Tom).
Over the past year or so, our meetings have evolved to include four basic parts, as described below:
Preview of the June meeting...
The June meeting will be held on June 19, 2018, at Tom's Computer Repair Shop (Beach PC). If you are new to the group and need directions, please RSVP to Tom! Hope to see everyone there!
Our 13th meeting was conducted on Tuesday, April 17th, and began at 7pm as usual. Attending was Barry, Candace, Pat, Rick, Michelle, Beth, Bill, Henry, Ken, Chuck, and myself.
Here is the quote that members were asked to identify at the beginning of this meeting:
The man sprang from his chair and paced up and down the room in uncontrollable agitation. Then, with a gesture of desperation, he tore the mask from his face and hurled it upon the ground. “You are right,” he cried; “I am the King. Why should I attempt to conceal it?”
Of course, most members were able to identify this quote coming from one of our favorite stories (and definitely Barry's favorite story) "Scandal in Bohemia". After that little exercise, I introduced a new segment that I hope will become a permanent part of future meetings... character identification. This is where I gave clues about a character that appeared in a Sherlock Holmes that we have already studied, and then I asked members to guess the identity of that character. For this meeting, my character was none other than Neville St. Clair, from "The Man with the Twisted Lip." No one was able to guess the characters name, but many knew it was a character from "Twisted Lip".
Next, we tackled the Puzzle of the month, which was entitled "A Fast Kill" The mystery in this puzzle was how Michelle was able to poison the Swami since he refused to eat or drink anything. After much discussion, it was Bill who suggested that the Swami was poisoned by the smelling salts that Michelle administered to try to revive him from his fainting spell. She had laced the smelling salts with poison, so when she held it under his nose, she was in fact killing him!
The Story we discussed was "Adventure of the Dancing Men", led by Henry. Everyone enjoyed Henry's interesting observations on this story, and were eager to add their own. I believe that just about everyone had something to say about this great story!
Our next meeting will take place on May 15th, and as always, be held at the usual place. The story to read beforehand is "The Priory School", and the discussion will be led by Bill.
The quote for the May meeting appears below:
“My dear fellow,” said Sherlock Holmes as we sat on either side of the fire in his lodgings at Baker Street, “life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really mere commonplaces of existence. If we could fly out of that window hand in hand, hover over this great city, gently remove the roofs, and peep in at the queer things which are going on, the strange coincidences, the plannings, the cross-purposes, the wonderful chains of events, working through generations, and leading to the most outrè results, it would make all fiction with its conventionalities and foreseen conclusions most stale and unprofitable.”
The puzzle to solve appears below:
Candace volunteered to bring a character description for us all to guess.
See you at the next meeting!
Our 12th meeting was conducted on Tuesday, March 20th, and began at 7pm as usual. Attending was Barry, Candace, Rick, Pat, Michelle, Lacy, Beth, Bill, Barbara, Henry, Linda (not in the picture), and myself (12 members present for our 12th meeting... interesting!).
True to form, we began the meeting by trying to identify the quote of the month, which turned out to be from a story we had discussed earlier in the year, "The man with the twisted lip". Credit goes to just about everybody for matching the quote with the correct story title.
Next, we tackled the Puzzle of the month, which was entitled "Don't Shoot!" The mystery in this puzzle was how the murders took place. Boris and Nick planned a gag for their friends. They hired an actor to appear at their poker party and shoot blanks at Boris. But a vengeful Nick put real bullets in the gun, and the actor unknowingly killed Boris. Nick, pretending to protect his guests, silenced the actor by shooting him. Several members participated in revealing this mystery, but it was Pat who asked if the bullets in the gun contained blanks. Therefore, Pat gets credit for this one.
The Story we discussed was "The Yellow Face", led by Barry. Of course, Barry did a masterful job at pointing out the best parts of this story. When he opened his presentation for discussion, most people had something to say about it. We all agree that it was not one of Conan Doyle's better works, but still, it was a good read.
See you at the next meeting, which will take place on April 17th!
Our 11th meeting was conducted on Tuesday, February 20th, and began at 7pm as usual. Attending was Barry, Candace, Pat, Michelle, Deb, newcomers Beth & Bill, Rick, Henry, and myself
After welcoming everyone, we began the meeting by trying to identify the quote of the month, which turned out to be from a story we had discussed earlier in the year, "The Five Orange Pips". Credit goes to Rick, Barry, Candace and Barbara for matching the quote with the correct story title.
Next, we tackled the Puzzle of the month, which was entitled "Lord love a Duke". There was much discussion about this mystery, especially concerning the small piece of metal found at the crime scene. Credit goes to Pat for figuring out that the piece of metal was from a second bullet. It was placed in the fireplace and exploded when heated by the fire. It was to give the illusion of someone firing the gun to throw off the actual time of the murder.
The Story we discussed was "The Speckled Band", led by Candace. She did a masterful job at summarizing the story which prompted a lot of good discussion. She also brought minature models of the bedrooms talked about in the story, which were masterfully done. By the way, if anyone took pictures of the two room models, could you please send them to me for the website? Thanks in advance.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at Beach PC repair shop, and begin at 7pm (the usual time). The story to be discussed will be "The Yellow Face", and will be presented by Barry.
I hope to see everyone there!
"If you look closely at the table around which the participants are all sitting, you will notice a bottle of champagne and what looks like a birthday cake..." This is just the beginning of the observations that might be made by Holmes if given the chance. He would go on to suggest that this group was in the process of a celebration of sorts... and that since the bottle appears to be empty, the celebration must be about over.
Holmes' observations would be correct! This picture was taken at the conclusion of the meeting, after we ate cake and drank champagne in celebration of the birthday of Sherlock Holmes. This meeting took place January 23, 2018 and was held at the usual place. In attendance were Barry, Ken, Linda, Barbara, Candace, Henry, Rick and myself.
After welcome and small talk, we began the meeting by trying to identify the quote of the month, which turned out to be from a story we had discussed earlier in the year, "The Boscombe Valley Mystery". Credit goes to Barry, Rick, Candace and Barbara for matching the quote with the correct story title.
Next, we tackled the Puzzle of the month, which was entitled "Caribou Mating Season". After much discussion, the solution to this mystery was solved by pretty much everyone, so no individual credit will be awarded.
The Story we discussed was "The Blue Carbuncle", led by Tom. We had planned to discuss this story during the Christmas season in December, but due to illness, that meeting had to be cancelled.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday, February 20, 2018 at Beach PC repair shop, and begin at 7pm (the usual time). The story to be discussed will be "The Speckled Band", and will be presented by Candace.
I hope to see everyone there!
On Tuesday, November 21, 2017, The Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear met for a ninth time, at the usual place and time. Attending the meeting was Barry, Ken, Michelle, Pat, Barb, Rick, LInda, Henry and Tom. It should be noted that Linda came in costume!
After welcome and introductions, we began the meeting by trying to identify the quote of the month, which turned out to be from a story we had discussed earlier in the year, "Charles Agustus Milverton". Credit goes to Barb, Rick, Pat and Michelle for matching the quote with the correct story title.
Next, we tackled the Puzzle of the month, which was entitled "Unplugged". I have decided not to give final credit to the solution of this one, because no one individual had guessed all the clues. The solution: Fred attached a bait-loaded lure to the bilge plug, causing the boat to sink and Ethel to drown when a hooked fish pulled it out. The fisherman later caught the same fish, with the bilge plug and Fred's personalized lure still attached.
The Story we discussed was "The Engineer's Thumb", led by Tom. Everyone commented that they enjoyed the story, but it was not one of Conan Doyle's greatest.
The next meeting is scheduled to take place Tuesday, December 19, 2017 at Beach PC repair shop (the usual place), and begin at 7pm (the usual time). I hope to see everyone there!
This year is really flying by! It's hard to believe that we have already held eight meetings of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear! Our most recent meeting was held on October 17th, at the usual time and usual place (if you're not sure when and where that is, just go back and re-read the minutes from previous posts). Attending the meeting was Pat, Michelle, Barb, Candace, Henry, Linda, Rick, Chuck (had to leave before the picture was taken), and Tom. It should be noted that Linda brought her dog, the only "unofficial" member in full costume!
Linda, Barb & Sherlock Hound...
After welcome and introductions, we began the meeting by trying to identify the quote of the month, which turned out to be from a story we had discussed earlier in the year, "A Case of Identity". Credit goes to Barb, Rick, Michelle, and Chuck for matching the quote with the correct story title.
The mystery this month was entitled "The Timely Intruder", which involved a break-in to the same home on Elm Street three days in a row, and at the same time each day... only to end abruptly before the police could catch the perpetrator. Much discussion ensued about this one, and credit must go once again to Candace for coming up with the idea that the break-in's were to check the mail which was delivered to the house at the same time each day. Obviously, the person who broke in finally received what he/she was waiting for... so case closed!
"The Man with the Twisted Lip" was the story up for discussion this month, and Rick walked us through the finer points. Most members present agreed that this was a good story, but it was one where Sherlock himself deduced the outcome incorrectly! Oh well, you can't win them all.
Watch your email for details about next month's meeting. If you are reading this but never attended a meeting, please come and join us! Watch your email inbox for the next meeting announcement that announces (a) the quote of the month, (b) the story to be discussed, and (c) the mystery to solve. Remember... the game's afoot!
September marked our seventh meeting as a club devoted to the greatest detective the world has ever known, Sherlock Holmes. Attending this meeting was Chuck, Michelle, Barbara, Rick, Henry, Candace, Pat, Barry & myself, a good showing for our club.
After welcoming everyone to the meeting, Tom started things off by paying respect to Jeremy Brett, who passed away on September 12, 1995. Jeremy's career playing the great detective was highlighted in a YouTube video which Tom presented to the group.
Next came the quote of the month, which came from one of the orginal stories written by Conan Doyle. Only Candace and Pat were able to correctly identify the quote of the month as coming from the story "The Speckled Band". Congratulations!
The mystery this month, titled "The Widow Wendy", was another murder, but of interest was the way the police were able to trick the perpertrator of the crime into incriminating herself. After asking several questions, the credit for solving the mystery goes to Pat. He was able to figure out that aside from some strong suspicions that the wife killed her husband, they had no hard evidence. Therefore, according to Pat, they released false information about where the body was found, causing the wife to visit the actual spot of the murder to check for the body. When she did, the police were waiting. Well done, Pat.
The story up for discussion was "Five Orange Pips", which was led by Henry. He had previously warned everyone by email that he had found some serious flaws in this story, which dominated his presentation. As one would imagine, Henry's thoughts about this story were well received, and most agreed with his conclusions. Regarless of how you felt about some of Henry's thoughts on the subject, it was still a great discussion.
At the conclusion of the meeting, it was agreed that next month's meeting would be Tuesday, October 17, 2017, at 7pm. The story to be discussed will be "The Man with the Twisted Lip", and it will be presented by Rick. The quote to be identified is as follows:
"It is a curious thing that a typewriter has really quite as much individuality as a man's handwriting. Unless they are quite new, no two of them write exactly alike. Some letters get more worn than others and some wear only on one side."
If you are reading this but have not yet attended a meeting, then please try to attend in October! It's an amusing and enlightening way to spend an evening.
On August 29th, the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear held it's sixth meeting, and was attended by 7 members. Those attending were Tom, Barry, Rick, Barb, Chuck, Candace, and Henry. Although still not up to what I would consider to be "full strength", it turned out to be a great meeting!
As organizing member and moderator of the club, I opened the meeting with "Welcome and Announcements", and then went right into the agenda. First up was the quotation of the month, which came from the story "The Sign of Four". Only Chuck came up with the correct answer, but congratulations to all who participated in making a guess.
Next, we attempted to solve the murder of "Oxford Dan", which took a little longer than I thought it should. To solve the murder, club members had to ask me "yes" and "no" questions about the crime, and then be able to tell me how Dan was killed and why. After about 20 minutes (and 40-50 questions later), Candace put us all on the right track by guessing that the place of the murder was a shoe store. After that, Rick came up with the solution before anyone else! Thanks Candace and Rick!
The story of the month was "The Bascombe Valley Mystery", which I introduced using the famous illustration by Sidney Padget. That, plus Henry's "6 reasons why he didn't like the story" challenge maintained the discussion at a lively pace. It turned out that everyone had something to add to the discussion of this story.
At the end of the meeting, we decided that next month's meeting would be held at 7pm on Tuesday, September 19th, at the usual place (if you are not sure where that is, read the posts about previous meetings). The story to discuss will be "The Five Orange Pips", and the discussion will be led by Henry. The quote for September will be as follows:
"Do not go asleep, your very life may depend upon it. Have your pistol ready in
case you need it. I will sit on the side of the bed, and you in that chair."
The mystery that we will try to solve is entitled "The Widow Wendy", which is shown below. Begin to think about "yes" and "no" questions that you can ask to get to the bottom of this mystery!
There you have it! I look forward to seeing all club members at the September meeting! Be sure to RSVP the email I send to each of you. Also, be sure to bring a friend, but let me know how many chairs I need to put out!
The game's afoot!
Tom and Barry decided that the best time to conduct the August meeting would be Tuesday, August 29th. The time will still be 7pm, and the place will still be Beach PC's computer repair shop at 5905 Carolina Beach Road.
The story to be discussed will be "The Boscombe Valley Mystery". Be sure to read the story and be ready to discuss the finer points.
Two additional activities that will be introduced at the August meeting will be (a) identification of a quotation from a story, and (b) solving a crime by asking questions about the scenario. The quote is as follows:
"My mind rebels at stagnation. Give me problems, give me work, give me the most abstruse cryptogram, or the most intricate analysis, and I am in my own proper atmosphere. I can dispense then with artificial stimulants." - Sherlock Holmes
If you think you know which story from which this quote comes, then write it on a piece of paper and bring it to the August meeting. The crime to solve is shown in the picture below:
Even though the information is sketchy at best, this crime can be solved if you know which questions to ask!
The game is afoot!
Well, the summer is really taking it's toll on meeting attendance! Only four members were able to attend the July 18th meeting (Tom, Barry, Barb and Rick). I am starting to understand why some clubs shut down during the summer months. But even with only a handful of members, a great discussion about all things Sherlockian ensued! We met at 7pm, but chatted about Ohio (don't ask) for about 15 minutes, delaying the actual start of the meeting to see if anyone else showed up.
At 7:15pm, the meeting actually began, and we started by solving the assigned puzzle. It was so tricky, that no one was able to come up with the correct solution! For all those members who did not make this meeting, the solution was simplicity itself. The burglers created a picture of the safe and placed behind the door so that when the security guards looked into the office to make sure everything was ok, it would appear to be normal. That way, they could drill out the lock and break into the safe without being noticed! Sherlock mentioned that he was actually impressed with their ingenunity.
After the puzzle, Tom began the discussion about the assigned story, A Case of Identity. In typical "book club" fashion, each member brought up what he or she thought was interesting about this Conon Doyle story. One of the points about the story on which everyone agreed was that Sherlock was wrong about the "crime" being "actionable". We all thought that the guilty parties could be charged with some crime and would have been held accountable. Another was point that was brought up was how unbelievable it was that the mother would conspire against her own daughter. Talk about heartless!
The meeting came to an end around 8:20pm. We discussed when the August meeting would be held, but could not decide... so check back later for the meeting date and the title of the next story to be discussed. Or, send Tom an email!
The fourth meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear met on Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Beach PC computer repair shop (5905 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 7). All total, 6 members were present (Tom, Richard, Patrick, Ken, Michelle, and Barbara).
As I ponder over the fact that our meeting attendance seems to be dwindling, I must remember to consider the fact that it is now summertime. Many members find it necessary to take vacations to out of town locations, making it difficult for them to be in two places at the same time. Holmes would probably tell me not to worry... that once summer is over and fall returns, so will the majority of our club members. I will rely on his wisdom in this matter.
We began the meeting discussing the solution to the puzzle entitled "Down on the Farm", which described the discovery of a body in a field. Holmes deduced that the may was a spy, and had sacrificed his life by jumping out of a hot air balloon to lighten it's load, making it more likely that the other spies in the balloon could escape British authorities. Congratulations goes to Club member Patrick Martin, who successfully solved this puzzle. Well done, Patrick!
During the last meeting, it was suggested that all members bring a small sample of their "Holmes" library with them to this meeting. In the spirit of cooperation, several members brought books to show the others. Ken Campbell really outdid everyone by bring a large bag full of books all based on the topic of Sherlock Holmes. Thanks Ken for that! It was most enjoyable to take a look at your collection!
After passing around the books that were brought, Ken then led the group in a discussion of the story entitled "The Red Headed League". Ken had much to say about this great story which prompted much discussion. Tom showed an excerpt from the TV adaptation starring Jeremy Brett, which was called "the laughing scene". All in all, a great time was had by all!
It was agreed by all that the next meeting will be Tuesday, July 18, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Our fourth meeting adjourned around 8:20pm.
The third meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear met on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Beach PC Training Center (5905 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 7). All total, 8 members were present (Tom, Pat, Michelle, Ken, Henry, Rick, Barbara, and Chuck).
As recording secretary for the club, I must say that I am very pleased at how the meetings are progressing! We began the meeting discussing the solution to the puzzle entitled "The Hanged Man", in which is was decided that the mystery was indeed a "cold case"... the man who committed suicide did so by standing on a block of ice. As the ice melted, so did his life!
After the mystery, it was Michelle's turn to lead us in a discussion of "Charles Augustus Milverton", a classic Conon Doyle story about a blackmailer who Sherlock referred to as "one of the most dangerous men in London." Her commentary on the story was entertaining and enlightening... well done, Michelle!
After discussing the story for the evening, Ken suggested that we all bring books and memorabilia to the June meeting. He also agreed to lead the discussion on the next story (I will announce the title of the story in an email).
It was agreed by all that the next meeting will be Tuesday, June 20, 2017 at 7:00 pm. We adjourned at around 8:30 pm, and I feel that a good time was had by all!
The second meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear met on Tuesday, April 25, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Beach PC Training Center (5905 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 7). All total, 8 members were present.
Our second meeting began by welcoming members who were absent for the first meeting. Next, we reviewed this weeks puzzle and offered possible solutions. Congradulations goes to Barry Brown, who presented the correct solution! Way to go Barry!
Next, we all settled down with our drinks and snacks and listened to Barry Brown deliver his presentation on the story entitled "Scandal in Bohemia". Much discussion about the finer points raised by this story was contributed by all members present. The highlight to Barry's presentation was the mystery of Sherlock's landlady, referred to in this story as "Mrs. Turner." To elaborate, Scandal is the only Conon Doyle story that refers to a "Mrs. Turner", instead of the landlady we all have grown to love in the other stories, "Mrs. Hudson." There were many other points made during Barry's presentation!
Our third meeting is scheduled to take place on May 23, 2017, at 7:00 pm. The place will be the same - Beach PC's Training Center located at 5905 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 7, which is just south of Monkey Junction right next to Strickland's Army/Navy Store. Our meetings are open to the public.
The topic of the May meeting will be a discussion of the story entitled "Charles Augustus Milverton" led by Michelle Martin. Those members planning to attend are asked to read this story so that they may contribute to the discussion.
The very first meeting of the Sherlock Holmes Society of the Cape Fear met on Tuesday, March 28, 2017 at 7:00 pm in the Beach PC Training Center (5905 Carolina Beach Road, Suite 7). All total, 8 members were present, although one member came late, bringing the official total to 9.
Our first order of business was to decide the basic structure of future meetings. The group agreed that each meeting would be organized around a Sherlockian theme (story, character, media portrayal, etc.) in accord with the selection of the person agreeing to present at that meeting. Where a story or other topic is available prior to the meeting, all Society members will do what they can to read those materials before that meeting.
Meetings will be held monthly, on the third or fourth Tuesday of the month with the next meeting scheduled for April 25th. The time will be 7:00 pm and continue until people's endurance runs out!
Meetings will be held at 5905 Carolina Beach Road (Beach PC Training Center in the shopping center just north of Strickland's Army-Navy Store). Members discussed the possibility of making use of other space in the future if that seemed desirable. In particular, it was noted that Pomegranate Books has offered to make space available and that at least some future meetings might be combined with dinner at a restaurant permitting the throwing of chairs and a general carousing.
At the April 25th meeting, Barry Brown, having been gently nudged into the role of presenter, will chair a discussion of A Scandal in Bohemia. It is suggested that each member read this story before the next meeting. Also, it was agreed that Tom would send an email to each member reminding them of the next meeting, and include a mystery/puzzle that each member could attempt to solve.
Although all are welcome to attend, it is suggested that everyone try to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org before the next meeting!