Read all about it! I continue to make the press (Pt I)

Our local paper, the Lichfield Mercury, just ran this story on me. Very pleased to see this.


News Reporter

A LICHFIELD author who pens Sherlock Holmes stories is pursuing his most challenging case to date – matching the number of official adventures starring the fictional detective.

Hugh Ashton, who works with a digital security and forensics company, writes in the style of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s original stories and his books have sold thousands of copies internationally since the publication of his first Sherlock story in 20 I 2.

Married Hugh, who lives in Lichfield with wife Yoshiko, has already published 37 short stories and two novellas featuring Holmes.

But within the next five years Hugh, 63, hopes to complete a further 19 short stories and two novellas – the equivalent of more than four per year.

Hugh, the secretary of Lichfield Mysteries CommunityArts, which produces adaptations of medieval mystery plays across the city, admitted the challenge was far from elementary.

“Sir Arthur ConaDoyle produced a total of 56 short stories and four novellas about Holmes,which is a prodigious achievement for any writer” said Hugh.

“I greatly admire Sir Arthur and his works, and as such I have made it my professional ambition to follow in his footsteps a little further.

“It won’t be easy, but with hard work – and a little luck – I hope to complete that objective and match Sir Arthur’s output by2024:’

Hugh, an alumnus of Christ’s College, Cambridge, is no stranger to criminal investigations, having previously worked on the production of a cyber-investigative software training manual used by police forces and intelligence agencies around the world.

He has also worked for major organisations including the NHS and, in Japan his wife’s home country – for Yamaha, TEAC (Tokyo Electric Acoustic Company), and two of its Prime Ministers.

He currently works as an associate with a London-based firm that provides digital forensic and security services, and is studying for a master’s degree in forensic psychology with the Open University.

He has since added another 35 short stories and two novellas – The Death of Cardinal Tosca and The Darlington Substitution to his expanding Holmes collectionwhich have been collected together in his ‘Deed Box’ and ‘Dispatch-box series. Most of the adventures, which are based on the fictional premise that Hugh received the boxes containing Doctor Watson’s notes on untold cases of the great sleuth, have hit the top 10 bestsellers in their genre on Amazon UK and Amazon US.

They are all new stories, but are written and produced in the same authentic style as Sir Arthur’s originals, even down to the use of 19th-century typography in the printed editions.

Like the originals, all are set in the late Victorian and early Edwardian eras, with the majority based on “untold” stories mentioned briefly by Dr Watson it his accounts of Sherlock Holmes’ cases.  Hugh is also a regular contributor to the MX Collections of Sherlock Holmes adventures, which is the worldlargest publisher of Holmes pastiches. Proceeds from the sales of these anthologies go to Stepping Stones Undershaw, a special needs school based at Sir Arthur’s former home in Hindhead, Surrey.

Now Hugh is planning to “leave his stamp” on the genre by writing a total of 21 new stories over the next five years.

One of those stories, The Bloody Steps, will have its roots in the infamous murder of Christina Collins in Rugeleybetween Stafford and Lichfield, in 1839.

In it, Holmes will visit Rugeley and investigate the legend, which endures today, of the “bloody steps” a flight of stone stairs up which Christina’s body was carried to rest at the nearby Talbot.Inn.

Hugh, who is planning to publish The Bloody Steps, along with a new Sherlock novella based on the untold case of Baron Maupertuis mentioned by Watson in The Adventure of the Reigate Squires, later this yearsaid: “I have my work cut out, but my reward comes when I uncover a little more about the life of the worlds most famous detective and can share it with the thousands of Sherlock Holmes fans around the world.

There may be more later – watch this space.

Yo ho ho and a bottle of correction fluid…

I recently discovered yet another site which listed many of my titles as being free to download. The site itself does not appear to be hosting the titles but seems to be aggregating content from a number of pirate sites, many of which are listed as hosting malware (browser hijackers, etc.).

At least has a page devoted to the steps that anyone alleging infringed copyright can take – so I took them.

Important Note

DO NOT attempt to download the books from the site mentioned here. It links to some very dubious places, and unless you want to spend half a day scraping malware off your hard disk and re-installing software (and/or sending all your credit card details to Eastern European mobsters, I do not recommend downloading from there. By all means use this site here ( or any reputable retailer to download my books, but don’t put your digital health at risk by supporting piracy!

Dear Sir

The following titles, whose copyright is owned by me and by my self-publishing operation, are listed as being available on the eBookLibs site as being made available:

Tales from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
The Darlington Substitution
Beneath Gray Skies
Secrets from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
More from the Deed Box of John H. Watson MD
Without my Boswell
Notes from the Dispatch-box of John H. Watson MD
Further Notes from the Dispatch-box of John H. Watson MD
Red Wheels Turning
At the Sharpe End
The Deed Box of John H. Watson MD*
The Bradfield Push
Tales of Old Japanese
The Reigate Poisoning Case: Continued
The Death of Cardinal Tosca
The Trepoff Murder
Keiko’s House
The Last Notes from the Dispatch-box of John H. Watson MD
Sherlock Ferret and the Missing Necklace*
The Adventures of Sherlock Ferret*
The Untime
Leo’s Luck

These titles may be listed by using the following URL:

I hereby declare that I and my self-publishing operation j-views Publishing own the copyright to all these titles, following the reversion of copyright from the now defunct Inknbeans Press. No permission has been given for these to be freely distributed through, including from some sites which are recognised by security professionals as being vectors for malware infection (e.g., UIrbookdownload).

Please also note that the metadata information is incorrect, and many of these were published as ebooks, but are no longer available as such, and furthermore titles marked with a asterisk were only published in paper format and were never released as ebooks – they have therefore been scanned and reproduced illegally. In addition, these were never offered for sale in PDF format, which is the format in which they are offered from your site.

I therefore await your speedy confirmation that links to downloads of these titles have been removed from your site.

We will see what effect, this will have, if any. Unfortunately, this is a whack-a-mole business – there are hundreds of these pirate-supporting sites (even if they are not pirates or fronts for pirates themselves, they are actively supporting theft). Please do avoid them.