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, September 14, 2019
Alfio's La Trattoria, Bethesda
Drinks at Noon -- Lunch at 1:00
Speaker: Bill Hyder
Playing Tricks with the Law of England



Holmes and Watson comes to Virginia  Jeffrey Hatcher's Holmes and Watson is coming to the Swift Creek Mill Theatre in South Chesterfield, Virginia, September 13 to October 19. The play debuted in Tucson in 2017, and has been widely produced by local companies and given strong reviews. The theater is south of Richmond, about 130 miles from Washington, and there's no word that the play will be produced any closer to us (although it's always possible). Hatcher is a prolific playwright and screenwriter whose credits include the screenplay for Ian McKellen's Mr. Holmes (2015) and two other Sherlockian plays. He was the Thursday evening Distinguished Speaker during the Birthday Festivities in New York in 2016, and was a presenter at the just-concluded Norwegian Explorers conference in Minneapolis.
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.
Sherlock's Veiled Secret a Success  Bev Wolov and Peter Blau were among the Red Circle members who saw K. C. Brown's Sherlock's Veiled Secret at the F. Scott Fitzgerald Theatre in Rockville during its recent run. They report that they enjoyed the play, which was well acted and nicely staged. It featured Holmes in the 1920s, and offered a new plot (not derived from the Canon) that included some imaginative surprises. The play had its premiere in Seattle in 1994, and has been widely produced by regional companies ever since. The Rockville production got fine reviews from MD Theatre Guide and DC Metro Theater Arts. If you didn't see the play, you can order a copy of the script, which was published in 1996.

Crossword Contest Concludes: Three Winners Named   Many Sherlockians enjoyed Verna Suit’s “Sherlock Goes Green” crossword puzzle, which first appeared at last year’s Scintillation of Scions program, was distributed at the Red Circle’s March 30 meeting, and was posted here soon thereafter. Prizes were offered for the earliest correct entries, and our own quizzer extraordinaire Dana Richards submitted a correct solution before he left the meeting. In due course, Nancy Anselm claimed a prize, as did Lauren Cercone, who found the puzzle here on the website and entered from Arizona. Congratulations all. For those who haven’t seen it, or who want the solution, the puzzle can be found here, and the solution is here.


Camelot Conjures Holmes  The Red Circle, always on the alert for political Sherlockians and Sherlockian politicians, welcomes a new discovery: one can only wish there were a photograph showing President Kennedy with "a big Sherlock-Holmes style magnifying glass," but there's a reference to this in Don Moser's article "The Time of the Angel" in the October 1977 issue of American Heritage, discovered by Alexander Orlov in the Central Intelligence Agency's on-line library. The "Angel" was the nickname of the U-2 spy plane, and the article is about the Cuban missile crisis. You can read the text of the article here, and there's a scan of the actual article (with illustrations) at the CIA's website here.
The Red Circle met for a delightful springtime luncheon and program on March 30. Our trusty Meeting Notes scribe Carla Coupe kept track of the proceedings as usual, and her report is here. And on this day Carla doubled as principal speaker, giving a fine paper entitled "Published When the Times Were Right." Her talk was received enthusiastically, and she has graciously provided the text for our Writings section. You can find it there where it will be archived, and directly through this link. Your time definitely will not be misspent!
In Memoriam: Julie Snell   The Red Circle is saddened to stand upon the terrace for Julie Snell, who died on March 22. Julie was born in 1923 and grew up in Schenectady, NY, graduated from Cornell University with a major in German Language and Literature, and went on to be a science writer in General Electric's research lab. She and her then fiancé Charlie Snell exchanged some 1,500 letters during World War II and referred to each other as the Beatrice and Benedick of the war. Together, they joined the Red Circle in 1972, making Julie our (almost) senior member. She was also a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and once attended their annual dinner. She enjoyed mystery novels, loved crosswords, quote-acrostics and bridge--and always was delighted when the bridge columns in the Washington Post mentioned Sherlock Holmes. Julie and Charlie are survived by three beautiful, brilliant, talented children (one daughter and two sons), three granddaughters, two grandsons and one great-granddaughter. Julie's daughter Nancy Anselm kindly donated the door prize for our meeting in March: a framed poster from Julie's collection with Sherlockian artwork composed of the entire text of The Hound of the Baskervilles in one and two point type. Nancy told us that Julie wanted someone in the Red Circle to have it.

Curious Incidents at the Reference Desk   One of the joys of living in the Washington area is knowing that one of our local libraries is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill. The Library of Congress has all sorts of resources, including a well-staffed reference desk, where for more than 30 years you could find Red Circle member Thomas Mann, who like all good Sherlockians seemed to know just where all the bodies were buried. Now retired, Tom has found time to write Doc at the Reference Desk (Washington: Alexandrina Press, 2017; 77 pp., $7.00). This collection of fictional but revealing "small stories in a large library" gives us an idea of some of the strange things that can happen at a reference desk. It’s non-Sherlockian (but obviously written by a fellow traveler), and great fun for all those who like real libraries.


  • 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.