We are The Unscrupulous Rascals, aka the Sherlock Holmes Society of South Australia. We were formed in 2004 and are based in Adelaide.

In 1978 Alan Olding (BSI) founded the Sherlock Holmes Society of Australia. After a brief hiatus the society was reformed under the banner of the Sherlock Holmes Society of South Australia in 2004.

Our group is an informal one and, if you want to join us, you will not be subjected to tedious minutes and motions. We insist on enjoying ourselves. Our meetings revolve around good food, good company, and a common interest in the lives of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson, whether in print or on screen.

We usually meet four times a year and our meetings may include a guest speaker, a film viewing, a book discussion, or anything new and/or irregular pertaining to life at 221b Baker Street.

We also produce a quarterly newsletter.

Our membership fees (current as of January 2021) are

  • $20 AU for single membership
  • $25 AU for double membership

If you are interested in becoming an Unscrupulous Rascal, please contact us by email at sherlocksa@gmail.com

Why the “Unscrupulous Rascals”?

At the November 2004 lunch meeting we decided to give our society an alias. After being presented with several options, members voted on “Unscrupulous Rascals.”

The term “Unscrupulous Rascals” comes from one of two stories that mention Adelaide, the city in South Australia where our society is based.

In “The Disappearance of Lady Frances Carfax” Holmes identifies the suspect as “…an exceptionally astute and dangerous man. The Rev. Dr. Shlessinger, missionary from South America, is none other than Holy Peters, one of the most unscrupulous rascals that Australia has ever evolved…. The nature of his tactics suggested his identity to me, and this physical peculiarity – he was badly bitten in a saloon-fight at Adelaide in ’89 – confirmed my suspicion.”

The only other Holmes story mentioning the city of Adelaide is “The Adventure of the Abbey Grange.” In this story, Lady Brackenstall, the victim’s wife, was from Adelaide. She was born Mary Fraser and travelled to England in 1895 aboard the Rock of Gibraltar, the largest and best boat of the Adelaide-Southampton shipping company.

We thank Phil Cornell for his scrupulous skills in creating the rascally image that we use for our header.

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