We skip over December, for now, kind of. Although the story involves The Janus Club, most of the action takes place in December. But who’s counting?
The cousins seemed to like secret clubs and societies. To be sure, they were writing during a heyday of men’s secret social clubs (Moose, Elks, Odd Fellows, etc), but the smaller the better. The Adventure of the Dead Cat had a small ad hoc society, and The Adventure of the Inner Circle deals with a club made up of Eastern University’s first graduating class (11 members, class of 1913), and a smaller, very secret club made up of five members of the Janus Club.
Ellery cracks the secret from a clue the victim told his wife some time before (all the members names had something, somehow, in common.) A dying clue told, interestingly enough, in passing long before the victim became wary of a possible attempt on his life. Perhaps it was a living clue. Or just a simple plot device…
Oh, and the cousins, who were in their forties when they wrote this story, refer to the members of the class of 1913 (let’s see: 21 at graduation, plus 33 years to bring us to 1946, so they would be around 54 years old), as having “elderly faces.” Certainly not young, but elderly? Really?