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; 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, and writing promotional material for international business publications.
He has recently returned to the UK, and now lives in the cathedral city of Lichfield with his wife, Yoshiko.
He has recently published many volumes of highly-acclaimed Sherlock Holmes pastiches (the Deed Box and Dispatch-box series) with Inknbeans Press of California, with some reviewers hailing him as the re-incarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. In addition, the list of his thrillers currently includes: At the Sharpe End, featuring an expatriate consultant living in Tokyo, Kenneth Sharpe, who finds himself thrust into a world of violence and high finance; Leo's Luck, a story of rock 'n' roll, crime, romance, and the paranormal; and Balance of Powers, set against the backdrop of the subprime mortgage crisis.
His historical works include: Beneath Gray Skies, an alternative history in which the American Civil War was never fought; Red Wheels Turning, set in an alternative Russia of 1917; and The Untime and The Untijme Revisited, Verne-ian 19th-century steampunk science fiction novels.
Children's books include the Sherlock Ferret series about the world's cutest detective, delightfully illustrated by Andy Boerger.
The collection of short stories Tales of Old Japanese describes some of the endearing characteristics of today's "silver generation" of Japan.