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

December 13, 2019
Alfio's La Trattoria, Bethesda
Drinks at 6; Dinner at 7
Fun and games to close out the year
Compliments of the Season
An Evening with Sherlockian Friends



This lovely Christmas image graces the cover of The Strand Magazine's 2020 Sherlock Holmes Calendar.
It's entitled "Sherlock Holmes on the Prowl for a Gift" by artist Jeffrey McKeever.
The calendar contains iconic Paget images along with contemporary art like this.
The print run is limited to 300 copies and you can order one here
More Sherlockian Holiday Shopping   Randall Stock has posted his annual "best of" list, a wonderful collection of items that will make shopping for your favorite Sherlockians (including yourself!) a painless and enjoyable adventure. Read Randall's recommendations here. And for a closer look at a few new books, Washington Post critic and Red Circle member Michael Dirda offers his views in this essay in the Post.
Type Punch Matrix, the rare book firm founded by Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy, has issued its first catalogue, which nicely begins with two items of "Victorian Fact and Fiction": the first book edition of A Study in Scarlet (illustrated by the author's father Charles Altamont Doyle and published in 1888), and a Police Manual (prepared by a Committee of Chief Constables of Scotland and published in 1894). The second book is "the real-life handbook for constables during the era of the romanticization of detective work in Scotland-born author Arthur Conan Doyle's stories."

The Sherlock Entreaty A late September play reading in New York presented a comic take on “The Naval Treaty” with Watson—the mystery writer who had invented the Sherlock Holmes character—forced to find a flesh-and-blood Sherlock when his old school chum Percy Phelps insists on having Holmes investigate the disappearance of the treaty. Watson resorts to a West End hack actor who generates many laughs when he turns out to be more interested in stagecraft than sleuthing. Webmaster Alan Rettig was on handfor the reading of The Sherlock Entreaty by Charmaine Spenser and presented by Break A Leg Productions. You can read his notes here.


Junior Sherlockians invited to submit  monographs  Many of us know that The Beacon Society helps keep the memory green by introducing young folks to Sherlock Holmes. The Red Circle’s Denny Dobry is a bright light in The Beacon Society, and he alerts us to a great opportunity for Sherlockian upstarts to start up the path to Canonical erudition, recognition and, oh yes, cash. The Society encourages students in the 4th through 12th grades to enter the Joel Senter Essay Contest and make their first contributions to the writings about the writings. The contest is divided into three groups by grade level and the deadline for entry is February 1, 2020. Along with handsome plaques, cash prizes of $300, $200 and $100 will be awarded to the three students in each group whose essays earn the highest scores from the judges. Details, along with links to the separate entry materials for each group can be found here. More information about the work of the Beacon Society can be found here. So spread the word and the entry packages to your favorite budding Sherlockians, and let’s see if we can get a winner or two from The Red Circle’s precincts!

 Carla Coupe's notes from The Red Circle's September 14 meeting are available here.
Minnesota Sherlockian Confab gets high marks   Every three years Sherlockians from near and far converge on Minneapolis for a weekend conference sponsored by The Norwegian Explorers, The University of Minnesota's Sherlock Holmes Collections and the Friends of the Collections. The theme of this year's event, held August 9 - 11, was Dark Places, Wicked Companions, Strange Experiences. The organizers led by Julie McKuras and Gary Thaden did their usual fine job of keeping all the balls in the air. The weekend featured 14 presentations, good food and drink, and a special exhibition of some of the Andersen Library's vast Sherlockian holdings curated by Tim Johnson. As always, The Red Circle was extremely well represented, with two members making presentations. Ross Davies explored "Dark Places in the Empty House," and Alan Rettig examined some very strange experiences in "A Scandal in Manhattan." Peter Blau held forth in his customary role of after-dinner auctioneer. Great thanks and congratulations to our Minnesota friends for their cordial welcome and enjoyable program.
Ken Ludwig's Dear Jack, Dear Louise now playing at Arena   Washington playwright Ken Ludwig has won multiple Tony and Olivier awards for his work. He's a Shakespearian scholar (Shakespeare in Hollywood) and a master of stage comedy (Lend Me a Tenor; Moon Over Buffalo). He's also a longtime Sherlockian (Baskerville; Holmes for the Holidays). Ken's latest play is running at Washington's Arena Stage through December 29, and it's neither Shakespearian nor Sherlockian. It's not a comedy either, although it is laced with much humor. It's called Dear Jack, Dear Louise, and it's the story of the long-distance romance begun during World War II between Ken's father Jack Ludwig and his mother Louise Rabiner. Jack was an army doctor stationed on the West Coast, and Louise was an aspiring actress in New York City. At Arena's season preview showcase in August, Ken was on hand to talk about the show and present a reading of the first scene. Ken is a friend of the Red Circle, and friends of Ken will certainly want to see this world premiere love story. Ticket information is here
A Silver Blaze of Glory  The 33rd running of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division) broke from the gate at Laurel Park on Sunday, June 9. Jockey Xavier Perez aboard "Call Me Jelly Roll" was the winner. In the winner's circle after the race were (left to right) Greg Bass, Tom Fahres, Liese Sherwood-Fabre, Mike McSwiggen, Mary Burke, Jacquelynn Morris, Verna Suit, Regina Stinson, Karen Wilson, jockey Xavier Perez, Evelyn Herzog and Mary Silaco.
Think about it. . .you'll laugh eventually!  A meme from Samantha Wolov.
Sherlock Holmes: Enduring Fascination   Michael Dirda has been a literary critic for the Washington Post--and a Red Circle member--for many years. On June 19 Michael reviewed four new books which demonstrate (again) why Holmes is the most famous and beloved detective. The headline reads "The enduring fascination with Sherlock Holmes: It's elementary." The review appeared in the Book World section of the Post, and you can read it here. It's well worth your attention.
A Sherlockian Coin of the Realm Redux  At the new year we reported that the UK's Royal Mint was releasing a 50p coin featuring a tribute to Sherlock Holmes. At that time the coin was only available in a set that included other special coins, and at a hefty price. Greg Ruby now alerts us that a brilliant, uncirculated version of the Holmes coin is available directly from the mint for a much more reasonable ten pounds each. The coin is issued to mark the 160th anniversary of the birth of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and comes in a nice presentation folder. The handsome image was created by artist Stephen Raw, whose intials appear at the bottom of the design. This is the only Holmesian coin ever minted in the UK, and ordering information is here.


  • 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.