In "The Final Problem," the tale that preceded this collection, the world's most famous detective had a seemingly fatal encounter with his nemesis, Professor Moriarty. When Sherlock Holmes's devoted fans refused to allow Arthur Conan Doyle to kill their beloved sleuth, the author complied with more stories. This compilation features all thirteen tales, which originally appeared in The Strand Magazine.
Holmes returns in "The Adventure of the Empty House," in which he explains his near-miraculous escape from death and accounts for his lengthy absence to the astonished Dr. Watson. Other mysteries include "The Dancing Men," involving a series of cryptic threats; "The Six Napoleons," concerning stolen jewels and images of the French emperor; "The Norwood Builder," a murderous attempt at revenge; and "The Missing Three Quarter," in which a rugby player disappears on the eve of a crucial match.