The Red Circle is Sherlock's home in Washington DC. Now in our seventh decade, we continue to celebrate his immortality and enjoy each other's company.
All are welcome to join us and share our interest in all things Sherlockian and Doylean.

Next Meeting

September 5, 2020, 1:00 pm ET
A virtual visit with
Sherlockians and Holmesians
in the United States and the United Kingdom
With Special Guest
Holmesian, Author and Broadcaster Nick Utechin



Red Circle's First Virtual Meeting Sets Record; Meeting Notes and Video available  Unable to meet in person, The Red Circle shattered attendance records on June 6 when our first virtual meeting welcomed at least 113 Sherlockians and Holmesians from across the US and England too. Special guest Laurie R. King joined us on the eve of the publication of her next Sherlock Holmes/Mary Russell adventure, Riviera Gold. Laurie's talk was not only interesting, but comfortable, humorous and warm--a welcome tonic in these troubled times. You can read Carla Kaessenger Coupe's Meeting Notes here. Not only was there a record number of Sherlockians with us for the live meeting, but those who couldn't make it can watch the meeting, including the question-and-answer period with Laurie King by clicking the image at the right.
A Nagging Crossword  Verna Suit has sent us another of her enjoyable Sherlockian Crosswords, this one entitled "The Horse of Course." Verna says that this might be a good time to reflect on the Sport of Kings since so many races have been cancelled, including this year's running of the Silver Blaze at Laurel Park. She suggests that Sherlockians "race" through the puzzle which you can download and print here, then send your solutions to Peter Blau either electronically or by snail mail at 7103 Endicott Court, Bethesda, MD 20817-4401. Prizes are at stake as usual. Once the dust settles we'll publish the solution and congratulate those who wind up in the winner's circle.
It is nice to hear that so many of you appreciate various forms of what Holmes called "pawky" humor. Keep your contributions coming and they'll find a place here. Tammany Kramer has suggested. . .“The Most Grave Victuals” — Holmes visits an old university classmate, and the atmosphere in the dining room is unusually somber. 
Red Circle Pins  Tom Fahres reports that although his inventory of the now legendary Red Circle pins is dwindling, a new supply has been ordered and will be on hand soon. The pin has been proudly worn all over the Sherlockian world, from Rockville to the Reichenbach, so Red Circle members (which includes everyone who's ever been to a meeting) will treasure having their own. The price is $14.95 each, which includes shipping anywhere. Send an email to Tom to order.

Not-So-Great Britain  The British tourist board called “VisitBritain” is under fire for publishing a “literary heroes” map that excludes heroes in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland from the otherwise clever cartography. On the colorful map, only England is populated with literary figures while Scotland and Wales seem to be limited to the occasional tree and bird. The map features a mixture of authors and characters, and while Sherlock Holmes appears prominently in the vicinity of London near Dickens and Roald Dahl, Brits in Scotland point out that Conan Doyle, who is missing from the map, belongs to them, and Brits in Wales quite properly claim Mr. Dahl as their native son. The tourist outfit has apologized and said that the map was intended to be published by its sister organization VisitEngland and not VisitBritain. People in the rest of Britain are not amused. Might this be yet another data point in support of a separatist movement? A .pdf file of the graphic is here if you’d like to take a closer look.


Sherlockian Wisdom for a Pandemic   “My mind rebels at stagnation” said Sherlock Holmes, and most of our minds do too. It’s important to try to keep both mind and body as active as we can during difficult times like this. So during a long, socially distanced Sunday walk your webmaster conjured some things Sherlock Holmes might be saying about our worldwide crisis. You’re invited to join the others who have added to the wisdom below, whether they are twists on the Master's own words or other Canonical citations. Send contributions to alan@redcircledc.org, and we’ll add them to the list--with proper credit. If Peter Blau is impressed with your submissions he may bestow prizes from the “I’ve got six of these” shelf in his sub-basement.
from Alan Rettig. . .
  • “It may be that you are not yourself symptomatic, but you are a conductor of COVID-19.” - S.H.
  • “Wash your hands if convenient--if inconvenient wash them all the same. - S.H.” 
  • “I am lost without my face mask.” - S.H. 
  • “There are many men in London, you know, who, some from shyness, some from misanthropy, some from the need for social distancing, have no wish for the company of their fellows. . .It is for the convenience of these that the Diogenes Club was started." - S.H. 

from Bob Katz. . .

  • "You have been in quarantine, I perceive." - S.H. 

from Larry Miller. . .

  • "How often have I said to you that when you have eliminated the toilet paper, whatever remains, however improbable, must be of use? - S.H.
  • "I know there are 6 feet, because I have both seen and distanced.” - S.H.
  • "I should be very much obliged if you would slip a roll of toilet paper into your pocket. A Charmin Ultra-soft is an excellent argument with gentlemen for whom empty shelves have tied bowels into knots. That and a tooth-brush are, I think, all that we need.” - S.H.
  • "You have a grand gift for flattening, Watson. It makes you quite invaluable as a distancer.” - S.H.
  • “I am a brain, Watson. The rest of me is mere hand sanitizer.” - S.H.
  • “Am dining at Goldini's Restaurant, Gloucester Road, Kensington. Please come at once and join me there. Bring with you a face mask, alcohol wipes, a six-foot measure, and a roll of toilet paper, S.H." "It was a nice equipment for a respectable distancer to carry through the dim, virus-draped streets.” - J.H.W.
  • "There is nothing more to be said or to be done tonight, so hand me over my hand sanitizer and let us try to forget for half an hour this miserable virus and the still more miserable ways of our legislators.” - S.H.

from Roger Johnson & Jean Upton. . .

  • "As you value your life or your reason keep away from crowded places." - Anonymous (?) 

from Bill Barnes. . .

  •  "She is the daintiest thing behind a face mask on this planet." - S.H.
  •  "Come, Watson, come!  The supermarket has toilet paper!  Not a word!  Into your clothes and come!" - S.H.
  •  "There's the scarlet thread of a virus running through the colourless skein of life, and our duty is to unravel it, isolate it, and treat every inch of it." - S.H.
  •  "If you approach me, Watson, I shall order you out of the house." - S.H. (note, no change to canon quote)
  •  "Self-isolation is a subject upon which I have sometimes thought of writing a monograph." - S.H.
  •  "My collection of face masks is a fine one." - S.H.
  •  "Have a cigarette, Mr McFarlane.  Beyond the obvious fact that you use hand sanitiser, I know nothing about you." - S.H.

from Monica Schmidt. . .

  • "There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious cough." - S.H.
  • "The game is a face mask" - S.H.
  • "Crime is commonplace. Face masks are rare. Therefore it is upon the face masks rather than upon the crime that you should dwell." - S.H.

from Julie McKuras. . .

  • "Besides, it is the season of Coronavirus 19. Chance has put in our way a most singular and deadly problem, and its solution is its own reward." - S.H.
  • "I paid the man and hurried into the church. There was not a soul there save the two whom I had followed and a surpliced clergyman, who seemed to be expostulating with them. They were all three standing six feet apart from each other in front of the altar, practicing good social distancing." - S.H.
  • "A cardboard box was inside, filled with coarse salt. On emptying this, Miss Cushing was horrified to realize that she should have waited at least a day to open the box since COVID 19 can survive that long on cardboard." - Newspaper account
Scuttlebutt: One Fixed Point in a Changing Age  Our own Peter Blau's monthly Scuttlebutt from the Spermaceti Press has endured for some four dozen years, and has a permanent home right here on our website. It's the most remarkable collection of Sherlockian news and notes anywhere, and your webmaster recommends a monthly visit. The very latest edition is available now, as are past numbers. It's just a click away--use the "Scuttlebutt" button at the top of the page.
  • Be an Inner Circle Contributor We welcome submissions from all quarters for this page. Please direct materials to the webmaster, alan@redcircledc.org
  • For earlier, archived items from The Inner Circle, click here.