Once upon a time, a hero who feared losing everything—including those most dear to him, though such individuals were few and far between—died in order to bring down a criminal mastermind who had brought far too much evil into the world. The hero was believed to have been defeated utterly by his friends, was duly mourned but never forgotten, and London life continued in all its glory and chaos. The hero, meanwhile, descended (as heroes do) to the hellish underworld, where he was faced with many challenges along his path back to life and to redemption. Eventually, however, after years of toil, the hero returned a changed man; and his companions rejoiced to have him back among the living, fighting the powers of darkness that beset innocent people once more.
Of course, all this happened in the year 1903. Sherlock Holmes, a man for whom Sir Arthur Conan Doyle cherished about as much affection as he did for the clogged hair that accumulates in even the cleanest household drains, brought his world-famous detective back from the grave that year with the publication of “The Adventure of the Empty House.” Previously, Doyle had waffled about with The Hound of the Baskervilles, claiming cattishly that Holmes wasn’t undead, he was merely starring in an earlier case, one which happened before that unfortunate incident in which a maths professor weighing about a buck twenty soaking wet nudged a martial artist and amateur boxing champion off a cliffside in Switzerland.