The Empty House pt. 2 | Sherlock Holmes


Arthur Conan Doyle

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Tonight, we’ll read the second half to “The Adventure of the Empty House” written by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, as part of 1903’s “The Return of Sherlock Holmes”. The first half aired last week.

Doyle ranked "The Adventure of the Empty House" sixth in his list of his twelve favorite Holmes stories out of 56 total stories.

In the first half, the year is 1894, and it is three years after the apparent death of Sherlock Holmes. An apparently unsolvable locked-room murder takes place in London: Ronald Adair was in his sitting room at the time. The motive does not appear to be robbery as nothing has been stolen, and it seems that Adair had not an enemy in the world. It seems odd that Adair's door was locked from the inside.

Dr. Watson, having retained an interest in crime post- Holmes, visits the scene. He runs into an elderly book collector, knocking several of his books to the ground. The encounter ends with the man snarling in anger and going away. However, that is not the last that Watson sees of him, for a short time later, the man comes to Watson's study to apologize. Once in, he transforms himself into Sherlock Holmes, astonishing Watson so much that he faints to the ground.