In the first episode of season 3 of Sherlock named as The Empty Hearse. Sherlock is in Serbia and arrested by Serbian soldier.

I know this modern take on A.C.Doyle's classic is very much coupled with the actual one. The creator of Sherlock chooses references and scenes which is somewhat similar to the actual one. Now is there any Sherlock Holmes novel by Doyle which has resemblance with this incident?

2 Answers 2


After Sherlock returning London, Mycroft told him that

Yes. You got yourself in deep there (Serbia) with Baron Maupertuis.

Now some googling and got that

On Monday, February 14, 1887, Sherlock Holmes begins his two-month-long investigation of Baron Maupertuis and the Netherland Sumatra Company, spending over fifteen hours a day working on the case (including one five day marathon of detection). [source]


Baron Maupertuis is associated with a Netherland-Sumatra1 Company. Now I think that company is in Serbia. That's how Sherlock get occupied in Serbia.

So maybe the incident is loosely referring to The Squire of Reigate.


Later we came to know that bomb had been planted at Sumatra Road railway station. So maybe another loosely bound reference!

  • 1
    I don't think its referring to the Reigate Puzzle, I have read that story its where Sherlock is actually ill and takes a vacation on watson's recommendation and it happens in england but not in london
    – Dredd
    Commented Jan 3, 2014 at 14:34
  • I think the fact that Sherlock is found in Serbia isn't related to Baron Maupertuis. The scene when Mycroft mentioned Maupertuis is when the two brother are back in London and Mycroft say that Sherlock "has been very busy" during the two last years. If I remember books correctly, after Moriarty's death, knowing that his associates (first of them is Moran) are a problem, Sherlock travels all over Europe to make them arrested. That's the reason he pretends to be dead all that time. I guess it is similar in the TV show and the job in Serbia and the job with Maupertuis are two unrelated things.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 5:12
  • To support this claim, Maupertuis is a French name. And I don't see how Netherland-Sumatra (Indonesian Island) would point to Serbia.
    – Taladris
    Commented Jun 16, 2014 at 5:13

I couldn't think of any story with the Serbian incident in Doyle's books, the ones that caught my attention are 2 direct homages to The Adventure of the Empty House which was the first short story in the category Return of the Sherlock Holmes.

One was the incident with the old patient with Russian Accent who speaks to John who shows those dvds, the names on those dvds were all the names of the books sherlock carried disguised as an old book seller in that story and the humor where John tries to unmask the old man was a reference as well.

Secondly the name of the villain on this episode Lord Moran who is also named after Colonel Sebastian Moran who was one of moriarity's right hand henchman as well as an excellent shot who gets captured by Sherlock and Watson in that story.


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