I can't express just how disappointed I am with Holmes' return. Doyle may not have wanted the detective to come back from Reichenbach Falls, but he ought to have been able to conjure up something better than the explanation we're given in "The Adventure of the Empty House". Poor Mary.
Doyle's main point seemed to be moralizing about being honest to ones spouse so that when you do get murdered one morning your significant other won't have to trouble Holmes to step out of his study. The one story I thought was 'classic' Sherlock Holmes was "The Adventure of the Three Students" for being built mostly only logic and defying the expectations of the time.
I've likely reached my limit of enjoyment out of these stories. As clever as the mechanics of the mystery and Holmes' deductions can be, I'm left unmoved. The characters' motivations are too simple, the sexism and racism more irritating - to say the least, were the Italians that much of a scourge? - and even the most revered of the stories, such as "The Adventure of the Dancing Men" and "The Adventure of Charles Augustus Milverton", left me cold.
Doyle obviously wrote to please and wrote for his time - understandably so, but the style at once Victorian and stripped of the beauty that makes old prose styles worthwhile made for lackluster reading. It passed the time. I frankly prefer the modern adaptions in film and television. This cycle of stories didn't seem to gel together at all, the timeline continues to get muddied and Watson has too many wives.
Next: 'The Valley of Fear'