Elementary! Austin gumshoes delve into Sherlock Holmes at Sweet Reads
Published 8:07 am Thursday, October 26, 2017
The “game was afoot” at Sweet Reads and Candy on Tuesday, thanks to the imaginations of bookstore owner Lisa Deyo and her husband, John.
In observance of the 125th anniversary of the publication of “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” the couple decided to mount an adventure of their own.
The result? About 20 Sherlock fans gathered at the store to solve the “Mystery of the Missing First Edition,” with many outfitted in stylish toques and fedoras; some had trench coats.
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The Deyos opened the party with telling the group about their purchase of a first edition of “A Study in Scarlet,” the first novel author Sir Arthur Conan Doyle published in which Sherlock Holmes appears. (The 125th itself was in celebration of the first collection of published Holmes’ stories).
Wonder of wonders, the Deyos opened the box in which the book was supposedly resting — and it was gone.
All that was left was a stack of 20 envelopes in which clues were found to solve the mystery. Many of the clues borrowed sections of the infamous stories.
The crowd quickly fell into detective mode — and humorous conversation.
“Spread out!” one commanded, to a roomful of laughter.
“Oh look!” quipped Dawn Taylor, as she opened the first clue. “A $100 gift certificate to Amazon!”
“That is so not happening,” responded Lisa Deyo, to another round of laughter.
Clues were found in suitcases, in books — one of them the “The Generous Embezzler,” that recounted the theft of $1.1 million from Hormel Foods by longtime controller, Cy Thomson — and even on the globe of the world, upon which was taped – you guessed it – a red herring.
In the end, it was scoundrel Randy Forster who proved to be the thief, intent on selling the book for $1 million dollars to give to the Mower County Historical Society — the society which recently named him director.
“He was super funny to watch as it was revealed,” said Lisa. “I loved that people were willing to take part as they wished – either by jumping into the action and clue-finding, or just sitting back and figuring out the details from what they heard.”
John Deyo said once they had heard of the 125th, they wanted to find some way to observe it in the bookstore. The idea of having a mystery night featuring Sherlock Holmes “just took off from there,” he said.
“It was yet another ‘experience’ offered to our very special community — and so we will do more,” Lisa said. “We’ll do another Sherlock mystery in November and can do it for private parties, and then we’ll change it up for the new year.”