So many people over the years had told me that I needed to read these books. Well, they were right.
This is what fan fiction can be, people--taking an existing universe and expanding it while remaining true to the source material. In other words, Sherlock doesn't suddenly become a woobie, Mary isn't a Mary Sue (well, not completely), and Mrs. Hudson, Mycroft, and Watson still have their roles to play.
I like how the story and Mary's backstory unfolded over the course of the book--no big infodumps here. And I like that although this is a complete, stand-alone story, there's ample room for continuing the series (as indeed King did). I bet these would be great as audiobooks--you could engross yourself in the twists and turns while the miles just roll away.
Now, on to the next one!