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Nikolina Pavlova was a 15-year-old Russian ballet dancer encountered by Ryunosuke Naruhodo, Susato Mikotoba, and Herlock Sholmes onboard the SS Burya. She was seeking asylum in the United States from her home country.
- Main article: The Adventure of the Unbreakable Speckled Band
Nikolina Pavlova was part of the Novavich Ballet of Russia, and was admired not only for her dancing, but also for her beauty. However, she eventually got tired of the ballet life due to her loneliness and not having enough money. Having enough, she decided to run away from her ballet group. Taking her black cat, Darka, and a very expensive tiara with her, Pavlova made her escape during a ballet performance in Shanghai. With the help of Russian sailors, she snuck onto a steamship that was heading for London. When she arrived there, she planned to take a ferry to the United States of America.
- This section contains major plot details. Proceed with this in mind.
Bif Strogenov had Pavlova hide in a first-class cabin room so that no one would know that she was onboard. While giving Darka some milk, the cat suddenly fled the room through the ventilation shaft. Nikolina tried to call back her pet with a fox tail, but to no avail, so she left the cabin to try to find Darka. It was then that she ran into Kazuma Asogi, the occupant of the other cabin. Inside his room, Pavlova explained her situation to him, and he decided that she should meet with his friend. But as he turned, Pavlova started to panic, as she thought that Asogi was going to call the captain. She suddenly pushed him to stop him, causing him to fall and supposedly break his neck. Convinced that she had killed Asogi, Pavlova called on Strogenov for help, who rearranged the crime scene to divert any leads to her.
The following morning, Pavlova decided to cut her long hair to complete her disguise as the wealthy gentleman "Grimesby Roylott." As she prepared to do so, she saw an article in the newspaper about her disappearing from the Novavic Ballet. This caused Pavlova to scream out in horror, which caught the attention and arrival of Ryunosuke Naruhodo, Susato Mikotoba, and Herlock Sholmes. While in her disguise, Pavlova tried to get the three out of the cabin, but Sholmes and Naruhodo jointly deduced her true identity, forcing her to remove her disguise and admit her identity as the runaway ballet dancer. In hopes of ensuring that Naruhodo, Mikotoba, and Sholmes kept her identity a secret, Pavlova told them that she did not have anything to do with Asogi’s apparent death.
However, when Sholmes and Naruhodo continued their investigations, they found that Pavlova and Darka were connected to Asogi’s apparent murder after all. Pavlova repeatedly denied killing him and Strogenov tried to defend her, but in the end, Sholmes discovered that Asogi was holding onto Pavlova’s earring when he fell, irrefutable evidence of her involvement in his supposed death. With no other option, Pavlova admitted her would-be crime. However, Naruhodo, Mikotoba, and Sholmes theorized that Asogi wanted to let her meet Naruhodo himself since he was a fellow stowaway and wanted to do something to help her. Realizing how grave of a crime she had apparently committed entirely in error, Pavlova apologized as she broke down in tears.
Afterwards, Nikolina Pavlova was taken by Scotland Yard with Sholmes arranging for her not to be sent back to Russia. However, about a year later, it was revealed that Kazuma Asogi actually survived. Sholmes had previously revealed to her that Asogi survived, and helped to grant her asylum in America. When Naruhodo and Mikotoba learned this and thought back, they felt like they were too harsh on her, but Sholmes thought she wasn't completely innocent and that she deserved being told off by them.
- Her name in the Japanese version, Nicomina Borchevic, might refer to "борщевик/borschevik", Russian for hogweed, a dangerous and toxic plant common in the Northern Hemisphere, or to the radical Marxist group of Russian revolutionaries known as the Bolsheviks. Her given name, Nicomina, comes from Nikomi (煮込み), meaning "stew".
- Her English surname, Pavlova, may be a reference to Anna Pavlova, a Russian ballet dancer, or the dessert named after her.
- Her alias, Grimesby Roylott, comes from the Sherlock Holmes character of the same name from The Adventure of the Speckled Band.
- At age fifteen, she is the youngest culprit to date.