The Deed Box and Dispatch-Box series are available in most popular ebook formats, as well as paperback, with a few exceptions. They have been laid out to reproduce the feel and the general appearance of late 19th-century books, with spellings and punctuation that reproduce those of the Strand Magazine.
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.
This volume contains three previously unknown accounts in the case files of Sherlock Holmes, discovered and transcribed here: The Odessa Business, the Case of the Missing Matchbox, and The Case of the Cormorant.
Tales from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (January 20, 2012)
Hugh Ashton has has unearthed three more tales refetrred to in the original books, but never before released to the public: Colonel Warburton's Madness; the Paradol Chamber; and the Giant Rat of Sumatra.
The Case of Colonel Warburton's Madness is one of the few cases recorded by Watson as being one that he introduced to Holmes (The Engineer's Thumb being the other). Holmes' skill at disguise is never seen to better advantage. Watson himself likewise shines as an investigator of more than average competence.
The Mystery of the Paradol Chamber is strangely named, and the mystery itself is a strange one where Holmes' talents are needed to unravel a classic "locked room" murder puzzle.
Finally, the definitive story of The Giant Rat of Sumatra has come to light. There are obvious reasons why this story was withheld from the public for so long. Even with the pseudonyms that have been so obviously employed, this story could have shaken the respectable world of English politics to the core if released.
More from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
Paperback: 220 pages
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (March 6, 2012)
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
Secrets from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
Paperback: 262 pages
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (May 29, 2012)
Mentioned by Dr. Watson in A Scandal in Bohemia, the story of the Trepoff murders now comes to light, discovered by the author in a deed box once owned by Sherlock Holmes' faithful chronicler. A Russian dignitary dies in London, and Holmes sets off to discover the circumstances behind his untimely, and politically unfortunate, demise.
Originally told in true ACD fashion, as a serial, this brief novella is now exclusively available at Amazon for Kindle.
The Case of the Trepoff Murder
Print Length: 53 pages
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (September 16, 2012)
The deed box of Dr. John Watson, entrusted by him over a century ago to Cox & Co. of Charing Cross, contained the manuscript of a full-length adventure of Sherlock Holmes, in which the great detective needs all his cunning and detective powers to unravel the mysteries at Hareby Hall.
Mentioned in passing by Dr. Watson in his account of A Scandal in Bohemia, The Darlington Substitution is a tale of deceit, treachery, and murder most foul, set in the wild Border country of northern England. Holmes and Watson encounter a centuries-old legend which tells of the future extinction of an ancient noble family, and set themselves against one of the most ingenious and fiendish villains ever to cross the path of Sherlock Holmes.
The Darlington Substitution
Paperback: 222 pages
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (August 8, 2012)
A hardcover compilation of some of the untold adventures of Sherlock Holmes.
These tales represent the shorter pieces (excluding The Darlington Substitution) discovered in the deed box. All have appeared in the three previous "Deed Box" collections, except The Trepoff Murder, which first appeared as a serial on the Web, and then as a standalone ebook.
These adventures should be of interest to students of Sherlock Holmes, including those which Watson never even mentions in the canon, shedding as they do new light on the character and methods of the great detective.
The interior of the book has been designed to mimic as far as possible the typography and orthography of the Strand Magazine.
We trust that old friends of Sherlock Holmes, as well as those who are climbing the 17 steps of 221B Baker-street for the first time, will enjoy these tales.
The Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
Hardcover: 358 pages
Publisher: Inknbeans Press (December 12, 2012)
Hugh Ashton is now considered by many to be one of the foremost producers of authentic Sherlockian adventures currently writing. With a great-grandfather named Watson, this is probably not surprising!
His adventures of the great detective have gathered praise from many quarters, and have often reached the best-seller lists in their category on Amazon.
Ashton has been called the “reincarnation of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle” for his faithful renderings of the spirit and character of the original stories.
He is a member of the Sherlock Holmes Society of London and the Watsonian Society (USA).
Grateful acknowledg-ment to the Conan Doyle Estate Ltd. for permission to use the Sherlock Holmes characters created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.