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Secrets From the Deed Box of John H Watson, MD (The Deed Box of John H. Watson MD Book 3) [Kindle Edition]

Hugh Ashton
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

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Book Description

The deed box of Dr. Watson, presented to me some time ago by a friend who rescued it from the archives of a London bank, continues to produce treasures. The stories in this collection, which I have entitled Secrets from the Deed Box of John H Watson MD, all represent some aspect of Holmes and his adventures that has previously been undiscovered. In many ways these are (with the possible exception of The Bradfield Push, which Watson left unpublished for personal reasons) somewhat darker in tone than the stories that he did release to the public and publish in the Strand magazine.
For some reason, Watson failed to date most of Holmes' adventures, and we must therefore make a guess at the chronology of these stories through their allusions to other cases.
  • The first of these tales, The Conk-Singleton Forgery Case, is mentioned by Watson. He gives no other details in The Adventure of the Six Napoleons, and the story was presumably withheld from the public on account of Holmes'brush with the police as described here. The story provides excellent examples of Holmes' skill in deduction from seemingly trivial observations, as well as details of his methods of working a case.
  • The next story, The Strange Case of James Phillimore, is likewise mentioned in passing by Watson. James Phillimore is described as stepping into his house to retrieve his umbrella, never to be seen more in this world. This brief description implies a somewhat supernatural twist to things, but the truth of the matter is even more surprising. The open antagonism between Sherlock Holmes and some officers of the Metropolitan Police Force may come as somewhat of a surprise to those who have always regarded him as an unflagging ally of the official guardians of law and order.
  • In The Enfield Rope, we enter unknown territory.Watson never alluded to this case. The principals here were far too well-known to Watson's public to allow of this case's publication, even with pseudonyms, and re¬spect for the British Establishment would have restrained Watson in this instance. Holmes' sense of the dramatic is shown here, and his admiration and liking for a member of a part of society that was often shunned at that time shows a human, more attractive side to Holmes than is often portrayed by Watson.
  • The Bradfield Push is an early case of Sherlock Holmes, where Watson loses both his heart and his watch. Holmes can retrieve one, but not the other.

These adventures of Sherlock Holmes are approved by The Conan Doyle Estate Ltd.


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1023 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Inknbeans Press (7 Jun. 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0089Z7P4M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #265,936 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Hugh Ashton was born in the UK in 1956. After graduating from the University of Cambridge, he worked in a variety of jobs, including security guard, publisher's assistant, and running an independent record label, before coming to rest in the field of information technology, where he assisted perplexed users of computers and wrote explanations to guide them through the problems they encountered.

A long-standing interest in Japan led him to emigrate to that country in 1988, where he has remained ever since; writing instruction manuals for a variety of consumer products, assisting with IT-related projects at banks and financial institutions, and researching and writing industry reports on the Japanese and Asian financial industries. Some of the knowledge he has gained in these fields forms the background for At the Sharpe End, his second novel.

He has recently published with Inknbeans Press of Los Angeles: Tales from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD, More from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD, Secrets from the Deed Box of John H Watson MD, The Darlington Substitution, and Notes from the Dispatch-Box of John H. Watson MD each containing Sherlock Holmes adventures, in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Inknbeans Press has also published his collection of short stories set in Japan, Tales of Old Japanese, featuring the culture and habits of the older generation of Japanese. The first three books of Holmes-ian adventure have been compiled into an "omnibus edition", entitled The Deed Box of John H. Watson MD.

His first published novel, Beneath Gray Skies, is an alternative history set in a "past that never happened", where the Civil War was never fought.

His second novel, At the Sharpe End, features an expatriate consultant living in Tokyo, Kenneth Sharpe, who finds himself thrust into a world of violence and high finance that takes him by surprise.

The third novel, Red Wheels Turning, takes some of the characters of Beneath Gray Skies, and sets them in the background of Tsarist Russia, where a battle of wits takes place to control the secret Russian wonder weapons that could win the war for the Allies.

Hugh currently lives with his wife Yoshiko in the old town of Kamakura to the south of Tokyo, where he is working on future novels and stories.


Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
After reading "Tales from the Deed Box", I felt I wanted to read more... yes, I'm a Sherlock Holmes addict... so I started reading "Secrets" expecting another good book, and there I got a surprise, because I think that in this second book Hugh Ashton exceeded his "master" Conan Doyle.
Not only the book has all the good qualities I found in the previous one, but it goes deeper into the psychology of the characters and has darker shades here and there in the plot that make it a more captivating reading.
When reading the original stories by Conan Doyle, at times I used to find myself, if not exactly bored, at least not extremely interested in some stories which involved simple thefts, with no murders or deeper intrigues in them. Reading the first two stories in this collection was a very pleasant surprise, because both "The Conk-Singleton Forgery Case" and "The Enfield Rope" fall in that category, but the plot and the characters were handled so well that I practically devoured both of them. The third story "The Strange Case of James Phillimore", is much darker and in a way it reminded me of "The Murders in the Rue Morgue", by Edgar Allan Poe, most of all in the initial description, the tension it creates, the horror of the bloodshed.
All this, coupled with the usual, impeccable writing style and a faithful rendition of London's atmosphere and society of the times, makes "Secrets from the Deed Box" a book not to be missed by any Sherlock Holmes buff.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Only read two stories 18 Feb. 2014
By Colin
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Read the first two stories and they have captured the spirit of Conan Doyle to a tee. Recommended look forward to reading the rest.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A definite must 31 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It really is like reading Conan Doyle and the stories are quite unique
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As Sherlock Holmes stories go this is a bit of a mixed bag. Four short adventures, two of which are fairly run of the mill and two that are more interesting. The pick of the bunch, for me, is "The Enfield Rope" which involves the obligatory Royal Family black sheep and the tale of a priceless string of pearls.

The Conk-Singleton Forgery Case is also worthy of mention and involves the illegal copying of share certificates and the manipulation of the Stock Exchange for personal gain. I found this one almost believable given it's contemporary subject matter. It also has the best and most interesting characters in it.

Both of these tales are entertaining and worthy of inclusion in any post-Doyle Sherlockian list of recommendations. The other two less so and the James Phillimore case has particularly gruesome aspects which ACD would not have expressed so graphically or, dare I say it, gratuitously. I also found the plot ludicrously contrived.

The Bradfield Push is alright if a bit of a plod and involves, as was also Conan Doyle's occasional want, characters from outside the UK which I dare say back in the day gave readers a flavour of unattainable exoticism.

All in all by no means the best of Hugh Ashton's deed box tales but there is enough here to please fans of the canon. But I found Holmes' wonderful observational talents less in evidence throughout which tends to makes these just a collection of detective stories albeit within a Victorian setting. OK but his other attempts such as "Tales from..." are much better.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Almost - but not quite- authentic 9 Nov. 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Very enjoyable, but not always completely convincing. The best of the Conan Doyle imitators I've come across so far, though!
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