The Red Circle is Sherlock's home in Washington DC. Now in our eighth 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

March 13, 2021
Special Guest

Catherine Cooke
Nervous and Terse:
Mr. Bradshaw and his Railway Guide
Zoom registration in February -- watch this space


The Inner Circle Meeting Notes Writings and Videos Quizzes and Puzzles


BSI Invests Ten New Irregulars; The Red Circle well represented  Peter E. Blau reports that the Baker Street Irregulars held their first-ever virtual annual dinner on January 8, via Zoom, and the agenda included the usual toasts, rituals and papers. This year the traditional toast to Mrs. Hudson was delivered by the lady herself, splendidly impersonated by Denny Dobry, from his re-created sitting-room at 221B Baker Street. The BSI's "Wiggins," Mike Kean, presented Birthday Honours (Irregular Shillings and Investitures) to ten people, three of them well known to the Red Circle: Debbie Clark ("Mrs. Cecil Forrester"), Carla Coupe ("London Bridge") and Alan Rettig ("The Red Lamp"). Our congratulations to them all.
It was another "virtual" success on Saturday, December 12, as the Red Circle welcomed author and Sherlockian Mattias Bostrom to its quarterly meeting. Joining us from Stockholm, Mattias focused on "Sherlock Holmes in the 1920s," and gave a marvelously researched talk, where he zeroed in on the films of Sherlockian actor Eille Norwood. Many people inside and outside the Sherlockian world have wondered whether--after nearly a year of pandemic isolation--"Zoom fatigue" might be setting in, but this meeting set another attendance record for the Red Circle. Our two previous online events counted 115 and 130 participants respectively, while our get-together with Mattias brought 150 people to our virtual clubhouse. Carla Coupe's meeting notes are available here. The video of the meeting can be seen by clicking the photo.
A holiday gift from Laurie R. King  Our friend Laurie King once again offers a free download of her Mary Russell short story, "Mary's Christmas." This year's version has new illustrations, and as Laurie says, it's just plain fun. Click here and enjoy.
Senter Essay Contest invites student writers to submit essays, win cash and prizes. The Beacon Society is the organization devoted to bringing the world of Sherlock Holmes to young folks. Steve Mason tells us that their second annual R. Joel Senter, Sr. Essay Contest is now open for entries. Students are invited to read a story from the Canon and write an essay. Contestants are grouped according to grade levels--4th through 6th grades; 7th through 9th grades; and 10th through 12th grades. First prize in each group is $300, with second and third place winners raking in $200 and $100 respectively, along with handsome plaques. Deadline for entries is February 1, 2021, so let's all get the word out to the young folks in our lives. It's a great way to introduce them to the Master! Details are here.
Malice Domestic honored by Mystery Writers  The Mystery Writers of America have announced that Malice Domestic will receive the MWA's Raven Award at the annual Edgar Awards Ceremony on April 29. The Raven Award recognizes outstanding achievement in the mystery field outside the realm of creative writing. Established in 1989, Malice Domestic is an annual fan convention that celebrates the traditional mystery (books best typified by the works of Agatha Christie, and loosely defined as mysteries which contain no explicit sex or excessive gore or violence). It's our local convention for mystery fans (and authors), and it will be held from April 30 to May 2, 2021 pandemic permitting. Details are here.
Notes on Enola Holmes  "Enola" spelled backwards is "alone," but Millie Bobby Brown has made lots of new friends with her portrayal of Sherlock and Mycroft's kid sister in the very popular Netflix offering Enola Holmes. Peter Blau offers some sidelights, notes and other musings about the film and related issues in this short Writing. Well worth a look.
Tiny Murders  Back in 2017 this page took note of a fascinating exhibit at Washington's Renwick Gallery called "Murder Is Her Hobby: Frances Glessner Lee and The Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death." As a forensics exercise in the service of detecting and solving crimes, Ms. Glessner Lee built miniature crime scenes in doll houses, and presented them as challenges for real detectives to ponder. Now, Les Klinger points us to a fine and detailed article in Atlas Obscura from the time of that exhibit. This photo of one of the miniature crime scenes contains a very Sherlockain clue, but you'll have to read the article to find the close-up image that reveals it.
The Red Circle had a wonderful time on Saturday, September 5, when more than 130 Sherlockians (and Holmesians) enjoyed hearing about "British Beginnings" with our guest Nick Utechin. You can read about Nick's talk and more in Carla Coupe's meeting notes. Plus, you can watch the video of the meeting by clicking on Nick's picture at the right.
Visitors from afar Many of us know Dr. Marina Stajic, one of New York's stalwart Sherlockians. For many years Marina was the toxicology expert in New York City's medical examiner's office, the perfect perch from which to survey all manner of poisonings in both the the Big Apple and the Canon. These days Marina is in Serbia, and it was from there that she joined us for our September 5 Red Circle meeting. At 4,670 miles from Washington, we reckon that Marina "came the farthest" to be with us, and it was great to have her along. She tells us she had a lot of fun at the meeting. Other international visitors came from Canada, Sweden, Argentina, Germany, France, Ireland and, of course, England. 
A New Dana Richards Quiz  More people than ever puzzled over a new batch of Dana Richards stumpers at our September 5 virtual meeting as they tackled his "Odd Man Out" quiz. If you didn't participate online--or even if you did--you can download the quiz here. Note that the first two pages are the questions, and the second two pages reveal the answers.


Virtual Victorians  Left coast Sherlockian Marc Kaufman sends along the wonderful image above from 1879. With so much of our Sherlockian world now holding forth in cyberspace, it’s remarkable to see this drawing from George duMaurier, published almost a decade before A Study in Scarlet. Maurier credits Thomas Edison for this incredible invention which he dubbed “The Telephonoscope,” but Edison invented no such thing. By 1879 Edison had come up with the carbon microphone, the phonograph and the light bulb, but even his motion picture “kinetoscope” was still years away. It’s a tribute to Maurier’s imagination that he conjured a world where “Every evening, before going to bed, Pater and Materfamilias set up an electric camera-obscura over their bedroom mantel-piece, and gladden their eyes with the sight of their children at the Antipodes, and converse gaily with them through the wire.” It was almost a century later that Bell Labs introduced the first “picturephone” at the New York World’s Fair. Your webmaster was on hand for one of the early demonstrations. It was a notorious failure commercially, even though the First Lady seemed entranced by the miniscule black-and-white image. But today, the educational, social, and Sherlockian worlds are being brought together by real-life Telephonoscopes. Just remember to unmute your microphone and shine a light on your face. You'll be gladdening your eyes and conversing gaily in a jiffy.


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.
Red Circle Pins  Tom Fahres reports that a new supply of Red Circle pins has arrived and is availble for order. 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.
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.
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