I'll admit, I'd been considering futzing with the schedule to put this one right around Christmas itself, but I didn't think it was worth the confusion. Ah well.
Hrm, a purple dressing gown. Somehow I never pictured purple to be Holmes' color!
I'm also not sure that I'd say that all three of those named cases would be completely free of legal crime. Adler's case for instance could be considered blackmail, Mary Sutherland's surely there could be some sort of fraud/breech of promise or something, and I'm sure the police could come up with something for "Hugh Boone" along the lines of wasting their bloody time. But anyhow.
It also strikes me as odd that, knowing the guy's name, it would be that hard to find out who the hell it was, although I also realize that's probably my experience as a daughter of the Information Age speaking. I'll concede it'd be more difficult during Holmes' era, especially when there at first wasn't as much reason to make the effort. A hat and a goose? Meh.
(And I'll admit, I have to shudder each time I read something along the lines of "signs that [...] it should be eaten without unnecessary delay." Waiting until it starts to "turn," and then finally eating it? Ugh, my stomach quails. But then, I'm a wimp with food/illness stuff.)
So, big head equals big... *cough* smarts? Well, I guess it was probably in line with the thinking of the day, at least.
Bah, so Holmes realizes that the loss to Henry Baker must have been a fairly big one, and yet can't be bothered advertising in the paper until now? Tut tut.
Once again, for someone so cold and logical on the surface, Holmes shows a poetic/romantic streak when he muses about the history of this stone, and others like it.
It's also very kind of Ryder to stumble along at just that time, to save Holmes and Watson a trip (and save the story from getting too long.) And very kind of him to so meekly go along with someone who seems to know everything. But ah well, I guess a little hand-waviness is allowed.
Holmes is also a bit of a soft touch for an agent of justice, but as he says, it IS Christmas, so... very well, then.