Well, generally, readers of Sherlock Holmes are looking for some great detective work; the piecing together of a few scant clues to piece together a puzzle of a crime. This story, while wildly imaginative and unexpected, does little to build a tapestry of deduction and instead settles on mild suspense.
The "Adventure" at Wisteria Lodge is a bizarre set of circumstances including not only a Voodoo side-track, but a despot exile as well! These inclusions certainly makes this Holme's tale stand out from the rest, although little else in the story would distinguish it. Hearing Holmes and others talk about "foreigners," a mulatto and "swarthy" people reveals the period prejudices quite clearly, and this detracted from my enjoyment of the story. What points the finger at the villain more clearly than saying that he is ugly, savage of temperment and creepy looking?
In some cases, in this book, they turn natural prejudices against you, by revealing that the most savage looking person is not the killer, and this was good. This did little for the story, since it was pointed out by Holmes that this person wasn't likely to be the criminal, but it should be mentioned.
Overall, Sherlock was fairly charming, as usual, but a guest dectective from the country was the star of the show. This is great, to break up the monotony of reading a lot of Holmes, but as a single story, it was disappointing.
An interesting premise for a story, for sure, and if that is all you are looking for, you wont be disappointed. Compared to the other Sherlock Holmes stories, however, the Adventure at Wisteria Lodge ranks near the bottom of the list.
The greatest sleuth of all time has never felt more "average."