The novel is split into two parts, the first part tells the reader how Sherlock Ho lmes and Dr Watson meet. Back injured from fighting in a war in Afghanistan Dr Watson is looking to change lodging and through a mutual friend he meets Sherlock Holmes who needs a lodger for 221B Baker Street.
Holmes is a part time dectective and now and then Scotland Yard require his help, as it is on this occasion. Dr Watson accompanies Holmes to a deserted house and finds a dead American which they promply find out his name is Enoch Drebber. Dr Watson is rather fascinated by how much Holmes seems to deduce from the room, body, outdoors and information given to him by the policeman first on the scene. Holmes then precedes to inform his colleagues that he may know who the murdered is and sets a trap to catch him.
Unfortunately he escapes and later on Holmes and Watson discover that the dead man`s associate a J Stangerson has also been found murdered. Who is the killer?
The second part of the novel basically tells the reason why the 2 men have been murdered and it goes back to 1847 and in Utah, where a group of Mormons find a man and little girl practically on the point of dying. The man and girl go with the Mormons but they must join their faith.
I will not say anymore as you will know the whole story before you have read it, but it took me a little time to get into the change of scenery and pace. I did enjoy the book, but would like to read more Holmes mysteries to see how they compare.