All The Empty House

The Adventure of the Empty House

The Adventure of the Empty House occurred in April 1894. It is one of 13 Sherlock Holmes short stories in The Return. It was first published in The Strand Magazine in 1903. It marks, of course, Holmes’ return ‘from the dead’. Watson has been following the case of the murder of the Hon. Ronald Adair who was shot in a second-floor room of his parents’ house 427 Park Lane. The door to the room was locked and no weapon was found. Having looked at the house from the outside, Watson knocked into an old bookseller who followed him to his surgery and revealed himself to be no other than Sherlock Holmes. After explaining his travels since the Reichenbach incident, Holmes explains that one member of the Moriarty gang evaded capture and is seeking to kill him. Holmes however has laid a trap and with Watson travels by a circuitous route to gain access to the house facing Baker Street where the assassin aims to shoot what turns out to be a dummy of Holmes placed in the window of 221B Baker Street. Having apprehended the would be assassin, Colonel Sebastian Moran, Holmes states he is also the man who killed the Hon. Ronald Adair. The story is also important as it has allowed experts to establish the true location of 221B Baker Street.