Though I've read some of the short stories before, this is my first time reading a Sherlock Holmes novel-- though I suspect "novella" is more accurate in this case. You can kinda see Holmes writing his way into the character and his milieu: Watson list of Holmes's supposed defects of knowledge is not only contradicted by later stories, but the later chapters of this one! (And doesn't really make any sense anyway.) It's hard to imagine the Watson of the later stories as the layabout young man he is here, though that might be more the adaptations influencing me. As for the story itself... it certainly has a number of good moments, but you can see why Doyle shifted Holmes to the genre of the short story, where he is a much better fit: even at its short length, this goes on a little bit too much. Though I actually did like the extended Utah flashback!