For years, a blackmailer has been preying on the weaknesses of others throughout London. When Holmes hears of the utter misery this mystery man is creating, he adopts a campaign to thwart his evil scheming. The campaign astonishes Dr. Watson by its strangeness and finds Holmes falling in love.
Sherlock Holmes' problem with disturbing dreams proves to be both an impediment and an aid in the search for a missing woman.
Holmes is called in to investigate a murder. Lady Brackenstall says she saw a gang of men kill her bullying husband, Sir Eustace, but on Holmes's arrival the case seems to have been solved. Holmes is uneasy and returns to the scene of the crime, where he finds things are not as they appear to be. And Watson is curious to hear about the lady's love affair with a sea captain during a long voyage.
For years after her father's disappearance, the beautiful Miss Mary Morstan receives anonymously every year one large and valuable pearl. When, finally, an invitation arrives to meet the mysterious pearl-giver, Mary Morstan seeks Holmes's advice, and he begins to unravel some remarkable clues, including a poison dart and a man with a wooden leg. What Holmes finds is an old soldier who is determined to punish those who betrayed him and his friends by stealing their oriental treasure.
On a visit to Wisteria Lodge, Scott Eccles gets a strange reception. A mysterious note arrives for his host, Garcia, and the next morning Garcia and his servants have vanished without trace. Eccles consults Holmes, who decides to treat the case as a murder investigation, but it appears that Holmes and Watson are on a wild goose chase.
Holmes and Watson attempt to thwart the schemes of the infamous blackmailer Charles Augustus Milverton from blackmailing Lady Eva Blackwell. But things do not seem as easy as they do and Holmes must sacrifice his morality and his honourable career to stop Milverton from wrecking her marriage. Holmes and Watson are called in to deal with a blackmailer. A dazzling young lady is about to be married, and Charles Augustus Milverton, the slithery king of all blackmailers, has letters she wrote to another man. Watson is astonished when Milverton calls at Baker Street at the invitation of Holmes, who has a plan to thwart him. As ever, things are not quite as they appear to be.
American heiress Henrietta Doran (known as Hatty) marries Lord St Simon, but she vanishes without trace on her wedding day, leaving London agog. Later, the police find her wedding dress in the Serpentine, a lake in a London park, with a note in the pocket of the dress. While investigating the case, Holmes suffers from nightmares, which he sees as a factor in the mystery.
Holmes investigates when a man dies and the manuscript of his recently-completed book is stolen. He has to discover who was behind an unusual proposal to buy a house and all of its contents.
The police are baffled by the murder of Willoughby Smith, and Inspector Hopkins looks to Holmes to solve the case.
The Mazarin Stone, a famous jewel, acts as a magnet for crime. Holmes investigates the latest and perhaps most curious episode in its adventures.