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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.
Linda Rae Blair
on Sep. 07, 2012 :
Each of Ashton's Holmes writings is impeccably done. He has channeled Conan-Doyle.
(reviewed 7 months after purchase)
on March 29, 2012 :
Mr. Ashton's latest collection of tales are another new discovery of adventures by Holmes' faithful friend and ever present confidant, Dr. John Watson. The first of the three, The Madness of Colonel Warburton is reminiscent of Arthur Conan Doyle's 'The Creeping Man' (which was one of my favourites of all Doyle's Sherlock tales) - a psychological thriller mystery that kept me on the edge of my seat - as all of Mr. Ashton's stories did in this volume, and the previous (Tales From The Deed Box of John H Watson MD).
The second story in the collection, The Mystery of the Paradol Chamber, was my favourite of the three (though they were all excellent!). This was a very apt title as the story was indeed a mystery and the twist in it was surprisingly unexpected and shocking.
The third, The Giant Rat of Sumatra, was another great tale. I was very happy to see that the rarely mentioned (and even rarer seen) brother Mycroft made an appearance in this story. And as the Holmes faithful will know, wherever Mycroft is, political intrigue will surely follow and the fate of the Empire rests in the hands of the Holmes' brothers.
If you are a Holmes fan of any sort, you will not be disappointed by this latest volume of stories about the world's most famous (and only!) consulting detective.
(reviewed 18 days after purchase)
on March 29, 2012 :
I read the first book of these tales, and really enjoyed it, it did occur to me though that it was so good that it would be hard to follow. I did not need to worry, these three new tales are even better than the first set, and have every confidence that future volumes will be just as good.
I will give nothing away about the plots of the stories, as this would spoil them. Each of them is well constructed, uses Hugh Ashton’s brilliant gift for breathless pace, and keeps the reader thoroughly absorbed and intrigued throughout.
It is very, very difficult to believe that these tales are not the work of ACD himself. To use the word ‘imitation’ implies inferiority, which the style most certainly is not – instead it is a magnificent emulation of the writing style of Sir Arthur, the language, syntax and grammar are exactly as one would expect from the man himself. Also Hugh Ashton remains very faithful to the nature of the characters in the original books; I did find it very amusing though to see the inclusion of a few spoken words from Mary Watson, something I do not believe occurred in Conan-Doyle’s tales!
Three great stories, let’s have some more please!
(reviewed 24 days after purchase)
Linda Rae Blair
on March 06, 2012 :
Don't miss Ashton's take on Holmes and Watson! He does a masterful job. You won't know where Conan-Doyle leaves off and Ashton begins. His language is perfection, his mystery and solution are SO Holmes and his Watson totally hits the mark. Enjoy your visit to 221b Baker Street. You're fun has just begun.
(reviewed the day of purchase)