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This is simply the perfect pastiche. I can't tell you all that the perfect pastiche must contain, but I know it when I read it. Simple as that. When you read it you end up forgetting that the story did not come off the pen of Doyle. Indeed, you could take one of these stories and insert it into the canon and someone who does not know the titles of the original 60, would not be able to pick it out as the pastiche.

I hardly ever give 5 stars to any Sherlock Holmes pastiche because I don't believe that anyone can measure up to the master, A. Conan Doyle, but Hugh Ashton never disappoints me. His stories are always high quality in the style, structure and feel of the originals. I have read too many pastiches to mention and Hugh Ashton's stories would be at the top of the heap.”

This author knows how to write Sherlock Holmes! He knows the time period and he knows how to write his stories in a fashion that actually transports you back in time and you feel like you are there as Watson takes every note and converses with the worlds greatest detective!”


This book is dedicated to Doctor John H. Watson, late of the Indian Army, whose friendship with the great detective Sherlock Holmes, and whose keen eye for description have given the world so much pleasure for so long.

Part I - The Mace of Succession

Lord Darlington of Hareby Hall

Of all the adventures I experienced with my friend Sherlock Holmes, one of the most intriguing was that in which we found ourselves involved at the behest of the late Earl of Darlington.

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