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Having lived in Japan since 1988, Hugh Ashton was surprised recently to receive an e-mail message from an old college friend working in a London bank informing him that a metal deed box which had lain undisturbed in the banks vaults for nearly 100 years was due to be thrown out, since the bank was moving to new premises. Given his knowledge of Hugh's interest in Sherlock Holmes, the friend felt that the deed box, marked clearly on the outside with the name of Dr John Watson, Holmes's friend and biographer, could prove of interest. After various legal battles, Hugh obtained ownership of the box, which was shipped to his home in Kamakura, a little south of Tokyo. On opening the box, Hugh discovered a collection of tales describing the adventures of Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson which had never previously been published. Three of them are given here, and more are expected as he continues to decipher Dr Watson's almost illegible writing.
on Sep. 22, 2013 :
An excellent read. If I didn't know better I would have thought Sir Arthur Conan Doyle wrote these stories himself. Most enjoyable.
(reviewed 9 days after purchase)
on Feb. 20, 2013 :
For a good long many years now I’ve been eagerly reading/watching anything I could put my hands on that was about the greatest detective of all times, Sherlock Holmes. Of course, I have the original collection of all Conan Doyle’s stories, but reading and re-reading the same stories ends up taking some of the flavor off them.
So I was extremely delighted when I started reading “Tales”, because from the very beginning I could find the same flavor, the same atmosphere, the same… magic that characterized the original stories.
Not only all the characters, from Holmes and Watson to Lestrade and all the minor characters appearing in the stories, are masterfully rendered in a way that is both faithful to the original and at the same time subtly innovative, but also the language has the full resonance of the one in use at Conan Doyle’s times… a language, in my opinion, far richer than the one we use nowadays.
And, to make the book perfect, the plots themselves have the subtle intricacy (which appears so simple once Sir Sherlock Holmes deigns to explain it to us poor mortals) which made Conan Doyle’s work so captivating.
What else can I say? That I’m glad I have two more books from the Deed Box to read, otherwise I’d feel bereft again!
This book and the other two are definitely a must, not only for all Sherlock Holmes buffs but also for the readers who love a rich, well written book, whatever its subject.
(reviewed 8 months after purchase)
Philip van Wulven
on Feb. 08, 2012 :
Hugh Ashton has taken on the task of filling in some of the gaps in Dr Watson's accounts of the exploits of his friend. Several cases were mentioned by the good doctor and by the great detective himself, with few details given, and Mr Ashton has used his knowledge of the canon to reconstruct some of these stories.
He offers three of these cases in this volume, all built on very sketchy hints, and all in the style of Conan Doyle.
I found them entertaining reading, and worthy of consideration by any afficionado of Sherlock Holmes as well as by lovers of detective stories, with a mix of adventure and puzzle solving to keep you engaged.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)
on Feb. 07, 2012 :
Whether you're an old or new fan of Arthur Conan Doyle's original mysteries, involving famous sleuth Sherlock Holmes and his trusty companion Dr. John Watson, you won't be disappointed by this collection!
Mr. Ashton's offering of 3 stories, two of which are mentioned in passing by Dr. Watson in his well beloved chronicling of their adventures, are so faithful to the characters in these wonderful stories, it almost seems that Doyle himself has been resurrected.
Maybe there is something after all to his belief in Spiritism, as they seem to be straight from the pen of Doyle! I am looking forward to hopefully reading more undiscovered stories of Sherlock's adventures by this author.
(reviewed 12 days after purchase)
Linda Rae Blair
on Jan. 24, 2012 :
If you love Sherlock, Dr. Watson, Lestrade and the rest of the 221b Baker Street gang, you're going to love this! Mr. Ashton has woven stories in the Conan-Doyle tradition so that you won't know where Conan-Doyle's Sherlock leaves off and where Ashton's Sherlock begins. Truly a masterful addition to the Holmes legacy of wit, sleuthing and surprises! I'm hoping there are a lot more stories hidden away in Dr. Watson's deed box.
(reviewed 4 days after purchase)