Playing Crimes and Punishments forces you to think, and place yourself in the place of Sherlock Holmes. Unlike most linear adventure games, this game only guides you to enough clues to form a few very possible conclusions; afterwards, you must use your own judgement to decide between them.
Let me give you an example:
Upon recovering all the clues in the first story, I was left with three possible solutions, two of which were more possible than the first. Instead of allowing you to follow up on those suspects, the game flat out refuses to allow you to investigate further and essentially tells you: "That's enough, its time for you to think like Sherlock Holmes and figure it out yourself"
The game sets up the cases such that the solutions are possible, so you'll have to make a judgement call and establish what posulations are plausible and which solutions to commit to. It was quite nerve wraking at first.
Admitedly, the gameplay is not perfect. There are frequent load pages (though you are able to review your deductions and notes on these pages, which is nice) and there's an element of pixel hunting. It's also a slow and methodical game except for the occassional minigame or Quick Time Event.
All in all, I would recommend this to someone who enjoys a slow puzzle. Perhaps someone who might enjoy a game like "The Vanishing of Ethan Carter". Since the game is rather methodical and slow, I would really aim to recommend it to a specific sect of puzzle loving adventure fans, whose main draw to adventure games isn't the comedy (if you love Sam and Max because of Sam and Max, this probably isn't for you).