The Charles Augustus Milverton Virtual Picnic

Once again we must cancel an event: Watson’s Picnic, originally scheduled for June 11, because of that dastardly COVID-19.

We are instead planning a virtual picnic with a discussion of “Charles Augustus Milverton,” a gripping story of blackmail, burglary, and murder. Attendees are encouraged to bring their devices outside, weather permitting, and to enjoy picnic food while talking about the story and listening to presentations.

Sidney Paget, The Strand, April 1904

We ordinarily have our Blind Auction at Watson’s Picnic; we are working on the logistics of holding it over Zoom.

To avoid conflicting with a meeting of The Parallel Case of St. Louis, we have moved the date one week later: It will be held on Saturday, June 18. Details are on the Events page; keep an eye on that or our Facebook page for any changes or updates.

At our virtual meeting today, we had several fascinating presentations about “The Priory School” We also welcomed as a new member Rich Krisciunas (from Michigan!). As Rich is already a member of several Scions, he will skip the Egg phase and go straight to a full membership.

Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. All interested guests are welcome to join us, as Rich did. The one advantage of the virus is that it is making it more common for us to meet Sherlockians from geographically distant locations!

“His Orders Were to Stay in the House”: More Upcoming Virtual Gatherings

That fiendish pandemic is still preventing Sherlockians from gathering socially. Fortunately, we now have videoconferencing, and three more free virtual gatherings have been announced.

  • Saturday, June 19, 12:30 pm PT: NMSOBC meeting to discuss “The Priory School.” Email for the Zoom info.
  • Saturday, June 27, 5 pm PT (virtual cocktail hour, 4:30 pm): The Torists International, a scion society based in Chicago, invites all Sherlockians, friends, and family to “an infinitely introspective program.” The meeting will include a eulogy for Sherlockian scholar and Torist co-founder Tony Citera; the investiture into the Torists of the winners of the Beacon Society-Joel Senter Memorial Contest 2020; a presentation on the sources of the ciphers in “The Dancing Men”; and a reading of Vincent Starrett’s 221B. Register here; email Jonathan Shimberg for more info.
  • Saturday, October 10, 10 am PT: Save the date for the virtual Left Coast Sherlockian Symposium! Speakers will include Mina Hoffman; Leslie Klinger, BSI; Bonnie MacBird, BSI, ASH; Angela Misri; and Rob Nunn. Visit the Symposium website for more info or to register.

Stay well, everyone, and when you must go out, wear a mask!

“You Scintillate Today!”: Register for Free Virtual Scintillation of Scions XIII

Bring fellow Sherlockians into your dreary lockdown! A Scintillation of Scions, the annual literary symposium sponsored by Watson’s Tin Box of Ellicott City, MD, has announced SOS At Home, a virtual version of this year’s event.

The symposium will take place over Zoom on Saturday, June 13, 2020, at 12 noon ET (that’s—*gulp*—9 am for us Left Coasters). It is free, but you must register at the SOS website.

Scheduled Events

  • Talks by Ray Betzner, Ashley Polasek, Steve Mason, Julie McKuras,Howard Ostrom, Daniel Stashower, and Dana Richards
  • Some sort of version of the running of the Silver Blaze (Southern Division)
  • A screening of the 1976 comedy-mystery The Return of the World’s Greatest Detective, featuring Larry Hagman (!) as Sherman Holmes—an L.A. cop who falls off his motorcycle, strikes his head, and wakes up believing he’s Sherlock Holmes—with Jenny O’Hara as his social worker, Dr. Joan Watson. (We wouldn’t miss this obscure non-classic for the world!)

The organizers are also working on interactive options for attendees, including a Zoom conference room. Any questions? Email the organizers at

While you’re registering, be sure to check out the Swag Shop or consider a donation to help defray the cost of the event. Your Gazetteer is wavering between these two shirts:

An enthusiastic “Halloa!” goes out to the folks at Scintillation of Scions who are volunteering their efforts to help us celebrate our love of Holmes and Watson despite the pandemic. Let us come Together Apart.

See you all on June 13th!

No Tea for You: Virtual Meeting Planned Instead

We regret to announce the cancellation of our planned English Tea at the Clockwork Rose Tea Emporium, originally scheduled for June 13. Covid-19 strikes again.

Instead, we will gather virtually once more that day and discuss “The Priory School,” an exciting tale of kidnapping and murder. Details are on our Events page; keep an eye on that or our Facebook page for any changes or updates.. So far two people have promised presentations; more are always welcome.

We had a lively discussion of “The Final Problem” and “The Empty House” today, with several of our new Eggs (probationary members) in attendance. Physical distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. Interested guests are quite welcome; you don’t have to be a member to join us.

“That Great Cesspool”: Cesspudlians of London, ONT to Host International Group Online Viewing of 1939 “Hound”

I can do no better than to quote the announcement sent out by Ian Bennett:

An invitation to Sherlockians around the world

 On behalf of The Cesspudlians  (The London, Ontario Sherlock Holmes Society), I extend greetings to you and all your members, and an invitation to participate in a group online viewing of The Hound of the Baskervilles (1939), which is available on YouTube, at 9pm EST on Saturday, April 25th, 2020.  Twitter comments will be appreciated as you watch and afterwards as well. Please use the hashtag #combetracey.

If you prefer and you have your own copy, you can watch along at home without YouTube.  The version on the link above is 1 hour and 19 minutes long. I bought my own copy some time ago, so I’ll probably watch that and save some internet strain.

 Currently prevented from meeting—you know why—by the Professor Moriarty of viruses, we are determined not to let the Napoleon of Crime have his unfettered way with us and will strike back in a Baker Street Irregular way, by conspiring against him to enjoy the genius of Mr. Sherlock Holmes and his stalwart companion Dr. Watson (a first responder of excellent character and qualification).

 Please pass this message on to all your members, and also to any other society to which you may have a connection, wherever they may be, so that all Sherlockians can come together and celebrate the work of Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce and, of course, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.

 Use the hashtag #combetracey to announce your presence and the participation of your society, wherever you may be.  We hope to make this the largest (virtual) gathering of Sherlockians from around the world.

 It may be that we are not ourselves luminous, but that we are conductors of light.  We have no genius, but perhaps we can stimulate it !

 Join us on April 25th at 9pm EST and shout to the world how you feel about Holmes.  And Damn Covid-19 to hell !  Online slide show here:

Ian Bennett for The Cesspudlians
Scion of The Bootmakers of Toronto

Many thanks to the Cesspudlians for organizing this unorthodox assembly. I hope to “see” you there!