The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone

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"The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone"
Author Arthur Conan Doyle
Series The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes
Publication date 1921
Client(s) Lord Cantlemere
Set in 1903, by William S. Baring-Gould
Villain(s)

"The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone" 1921 is one of 12 Sherlock Holmes short stories (56 total) by Arthur Conan Doyle in The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes first published Strand Magazine October 1921 - April 1927.

Plot[edit]

Copy of the new cut of the Koh-i-Noor diamond

Watson arrives at 221B Baker Street where Boy Billy shows him a wax effigy of Holmes behind the curtain, awaiting attempted shooting through window. Holmes names his murderer as Count Negretto Sylvius, the diamond thief he has been following in disguises. He gives the criminal's address to Watson, then sends the doctor out the back for the police. Surprised by the Count, Holmes offers him and his helper, boxer Sam Merton, freedom if they give up the jewel, or jail if not.

He invites them to discuss the deal while he plays violin in the next room. When the Count decides to double-cross Holmes and takes the stone from his secret pocket to show Sam in window light, the detective springs from the chair in place of his replica and grabs the £100K jewel. His bedroom has a gramophone and secret passage to behind the curtain.

After the police take away the villains, Lord Cantlemere sweeps in. Unlike the Prime Minister and Home Secretary, he did not want Holmes. When tricked into insisting on arrest for whoever is found possessing the diamond, he finds the jewel in his pocket, and apologizes. Finally, Holmes can eat.

Unusual Aspects[edit]

It is notable for being the one of only two Arthur Conan Doyle Holmes stories, aside from a couple of humorous vignettes, to be written in third person. The other is "His Last Bow". "The Mazarin Stone" was written this way because it was adapted from a stage play, "The Crown Diamond", in which Watson hardly appeared. Its adaptation from the theatre also explains why the action in this story is confined to one room.

In the original play, the villain was Holmes's enemy Colonel Sebastian Moran of "The Adventure of the Empty House" infamy, not Count Negretto Sylvius.

Media[edit]

The 1946 film Terror by Night uses some motives from "The Mazarin Stone" as well.

This story was heavily rewritten for Granada Television's Sherlock Holmes series. In 1994, it was merged with another story, "The Adventure of the Three Garridebs". The most noticeable change being that Holmes does not feature except in the prologue and final scene (actor Jeremy Brett was away due to illness). It is Mycroft Holmes (Charles Gray) who takes up the case of the stolen diamond, while Watson is retained to look into the Garrideb mystery.

Wikisource links[edit]

Works related to The Adventure of the Mazarin Stone at Wikisource