Sherlock is back from the dead in The Adventure of the Empty House

After the events of the Reichenbach Falls, Sherlock Holmes has returned…

In London Watson is narrating the tale of Ronald Adair who was murdered in a hotel on Park Lane. In a supposedly ‘closed room,’ he was shot with a revolver that cannot be found. Dr Watson is intrigued by the case and tries to use the skills he has learnt from the late Sherlock Holmes to solve the case. After visiting the crime scene he bumps into an ageing book collector who has a secret of his own…

Perhaps buoyed by the success of The Hound of the Baskervilles, Conan Doyle revives the Great Detective for another series of adventures. Featuring Sherlock in disguise and a cunning use of a wax dummy, it features all the hallmarks of a classic Holmes and Watson adventure. Very quickly the status quo is returned although there was one passing section that left me reeling. Almost in passing, the death of Mary Morstan is announced with little commentary from either Holmes or Watson. I’m all for the British stiff upper lip but this was quite astonishing!

Sherlock’s explanation of surviving his death is helped by the fact that no bodies were ever found at the bottom of the falls and his ability to write a letter to Watson. It leaves open the possibility of more of Moriarty’s men awaiting capture and also a return of the Professor himself? With some rock climbing and jaunts around Europe, it is perhaps a bit more palatable than the potential resolute given by the Sherlock television show.

Tomorrow it is The Adventure of the Norwood Builder…

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