I wanted to give this a full 5 stars, but I just couldn't. Still, for my first venture into Doyle's Sherlock Holmes books/stories, I was happy with what I found.
The thing that turned me off was that after the first part of the book is done and the second begins, I was very confused at what I was reading. There was no transition/introduction mentioning that the story was taking a major change in time, place, characters. It was no longer Sherlock Holmes in London; it was the Mormon migration to Utah.
But near the end of the book, it all came together and the point of the sudden change was explained. I still think it was too abrupt and could have been done in a different way to preserve the flow, but all-in-all it was a fun read. I'm sure Doyle improved on his writing after this first novel, especially judging by the fact that it's so popular even over a century later.