“The Adventure of the Empty House”

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Title: The Adventure of the Empty House Collection: The Return of Sherlock Holmes
Year published: 1903 (September) Year set in: 1894
Mystery: How was a man killed by a revolver in a locked room?
Apparent crime: Murder Actual crime: Shown below (possible spoiler)
Summary: A man is found dead from a revolver shot (short-range weapon) in a locked room but there is no weapon in the room and no way that anyone could have got in or left it.

Ronald Adair is found dead in a sitting room. He has been killed by a short-range revolver bullet but there is no trace of a weapon. The door is locked from the inside and there is no way anyone could get access or leave via the window.

While investigating, Watson finds that Sherlock Holmes is still alive, having escaped Moriarty at the Reichenbach Falls. He had remained in hiding because some of Moriarty's companions were still after him. They investigate the murder together.

Actual crime
Explanation (spoiler alert)

Adair was shot with a specialist air gun, firing a revolver bullet through the window. It was fired by the same marksman who was trying to kill Holmes.

Quotations in this story (0)
There are no quotes for this story

Characters in this story (7)
Surname First name Title
Holmes Mycroft
Holmes Sherlock
Hudson Mrs
Lestrade Inspector
Moran Sebastian Colonel
Moriarty Professor
Watson John Doctor

Locations in this story (1)
Location Town/City County
221b Baker Street London

Other notes

The return of Sherlock Holmes after his believed death at the Reichenbach Falls. Watson implies (without naming her) that his wife had died previous to this story.


Ronald Adair Maynooth whist Colonel Sebastian Moran Park Lane Camden House Lestrade Hudson