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He is intellectual, inquisitive and non-impulsive. He is educated on weapons, chemistry, medicine, etc. He studies crimes in depth and tries to place himself at the scene so that he can "see" it. He pays attention to detail, and is observant to a point that he sees things that other people miss. He is arrogant, independent and moody. He doesn't show a great deal of respect for authority or the law.
What is impressive is Holmes' reliance on logic and observation, deductive reasoning. However readers are addicted to his personality and his quirks.
Readers are trying to simultaneously ferret out the facts important to Holmes ---hopefully arriving to a solution or who dun it one step ahead of Sherlock.