"With thses two classic novels, 'A Study in Scarlet' and 'The Sign of the Four,' you have the brilliant foundation of the Sherlock Holmes canon. Reading pleasure rarely comes any finer."
As a classic novel, this book succeeds admirably. Its language is modern and its cultural references are neatly explained in the endnotes (my copy is the Modern Library Classics edition). As a mystery novel, this book did not capture my interest. I would rather follow along as Holmes solves the mystery rather than having him explain his thinking after the criminal is in custody. That said, I plan to read at least the next Sherlock Holmes mystery. First in a series; sequels include The Sign of the Four, Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Memoirs of Sherlock Holmes, The Return of Sherlock Holmes, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Valley of Fear, His Last Bow, and The Case-Book of Sherlock Holmes.