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Mickey Fromkin, BSI and Susan Rice, BSI

Individually and in partnership, Susan Rice (Beeswing, 1991) and Mickey Fromkin (The Missing Three-Quarter, 1994) represent an inimitable force in the world of Sherlock Holmes. 

They traveled on different paths to this world. A self-described “kid Sherlockian” who received the Canon as an 11th birthday present and was so captivated that she forgot to open the remainder of her presents, Susan founded her first scion during her first job teaching classical studies at a middle school in Michigan. Mickey bought her first deerstalker long before she ever read the Canon and before she was introduced by Susan to the Sherlockian community. However, once they met during the BSI Weekend in January 1980, Susan and Mickey’s combined artistic achievements in sectors such as writing, song composition, travel, radio production, and the dissemination of beekeeping knowledge have continually enriched the Sherlockian world.

A notable focus of the conversation is Susan and Mickey’s outstanding commitment to mentoring younger generations of Sherlockians, especially through Susan’s organization of the monthly ASH Wednesday meetings for so many years. 

Susan’s reminiscences include fascinating details about the events leading up to the fabled 1991 BSI Cocktail Party at which she and five other women were fully invested in the BSI by Tom Stix. Mickey shares some of the creative process behind many of the Sherlockian verses she has penned. Their oral history includes incredible milestones and encounters with notable individuals too numerous to list here.

Susan received the Two-Shilling award in 2002. She passed away in September 2020.

Susan and Mickey’s interview testifies to a partnership which embodies the qualities that draw successive generations to the world of Sherlock Holmes: erudition, whimsy, creativity, and companionship with kindred spirits.

Click to play this interview (playback help)

Interviewees: Susan Rice and Mickey Fromkin 

Interviewers: Francine Kitts and Robert Katz

Date: July 10, 2013

Location: Players Club, NYC

Description: MP3, 42.0 MB, 63kbps, 1 hour 32 minutes

Interview Topics

Hugo’s Companions

Paul Smedegaard

Isle of Uffa Chowder and Marching Society

Evelyn Herzog




Trifling Monographs

Amateur Mendicants

Murder Inc. Bookshop

Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH)

Toasts to Queen Victoria

Admitting Women into the BSI

Tom Stix, Jr.

BSI Dinners

Lisa McGaw

Gillette Luncheon

ASH Wednesday

John Bennett Shaw

Robert G. Harris

Robert W. Hahn

Katherine McMahon

Edith Meiser

Patricia E. Moran

Explanation of BSI Honours & Other Terms

Related Materials

The 1991 BSI Dinner
Susan Rice received her Investiture at the 1991 Cocktail Party.

The 1994 BSI Dinner
Mickey Fromkin received her Investiture at this BSI Dinner.

The 2002 BSI Dinner
Susan Rice received her Two-Shilling Award at this BSI Dinner.

Dubious and Questionable Memories by Susan Rice (BSI website)
A History of the Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (The Baker Street Journal 2004 Christmas Annual)

Adventuresses of Sherlock Holmes (ASH website)
Susan ran the monthly ASH Wednesdays dinners for many years.

Audio interview about admittance of women in the BSI (soundcloud.com)
Evelyn Herzog and Susan Rice discuss events leading up to their 1991 investitures.  The link goes directly to the 57-minute mark in the I Hear of Sherlock Everywhere Episode 89 podcast.

A Compound of Excelsior by Susan Rice (at Amazon, out of print)
A book on Sherlock Holmes and beekeeping.

For an index to all OHP interviews, see our Oral History Project Summary list.

Interviews recently added online (sorted by when recording was posted online)

Material in the BSI Archive may be used by any qualified scholar, subject to the normal rules and regulations of the library. For links to a detailed finding aid and related information, see our BSI Archive page.

Page composed on 2/19/22 by Tamar Zeffren

This page last updated 4/7/22 by Randall Stock