As for the extended coda set in the US, it's important to realize that Conan Doyle's first passion as a writer was Historical Fiction, and he initially saw the Holmes stories as a way to expand his readership of that kind of writing.
He follows a similar pattern in Valley of Fear, and to a lesser extent in The Sign of Four.
The first time I read these novels, I remember feeling a similar sense of dislocation, but Doyle is such a strong writer that he had me hooked within pages.
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