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

Saturday, March 21, 2020
Alfio's La Trattoria
Drinks at Noon; Lunch at 1:00
Special Guest: Dr. Bradley Harper
"Sherlock Holmes as Science Fiction"




March meeting details set  Ever want to try your hand at being a medical examiner? Well, yank a rubber glove onto that hand and join us for The Red Circle’s luncheon meeting on March 21. Our guest will be pathologist, medical examiner and Sherlockian author Dr. Bradley Harper. Brad will give us a look at forensic science, then explain how Holmes inspired the creation of the world’s first crime lab. And yes, he promises the opportunity to hone our own forensic skills as coroners-in-training. Much more information is on the Meeting Notice here.

 Notes from the Red Circle's December 13 dinner meeting can be found here.
"X"mas Marks the Spot  At the Red Circle's December dinner, quiz maven and part-time Santa Dana Richards left his latest Sherlockian stumper under the tree. It's a quiz with 25 quotations from the canon, each of which has a missing word containing the letter "X." All you have to do is supply the missing words. Easy, right? Give it a try. The first two pages contain the questions, and the second two pages add the answers. No fair peeking at pages 3 and 4 until you've finished or thrown in the towel. Take the quiz here.
Each year we compile the items of more than passing interest from this column and store them in the Archive. As the new year begins we highlight the Inner Circle doings from 2014. The items range from information on "The Giant Rat of Sinatra" to a talking Holmes statue to some noteworthy rulings by Federal courts. There's also news of a large-scale wordle map of literary London that's still available in 2020. It's worth a look back for some memories and some smiles. You can find the Inner Circle highlights from 2014 here.
Type Punch Matrix, the rare book firm founded by Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy, has issued its first catalogue, which begins with two items of "Victorian Fact and Fiction." First, the premiere book edition of A Study in Scarlet, illustrated by Conan Doyle's father and published in 1888. Second, a Police Manual prepared by a Committee of Chief Constables of Scotland and published in 1894. The manual is described as "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 hand for 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.
  • 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.