Robert Brighton and His World

Robert Brighton

Award-winning author Robert Brighton is an authority on the Gilded Age, and a believer that the Victorian era was anything but stuffy.  On the contrary, in his books Brighton exposes the turbulent passions of the era, always bubbling just below the surface — brought to life through a process of painstaking research.

When he is not sniffing out unsolved mysteries, Brighton is an adventurer.  He has traveled anonymously to some 55 countries around the world, personally throwing himself into every situation his characters will face — from underground ruins to opium dens — and (so far) living to tell about it.

A graduate of the Sorbonne, Paris, Robert Brighton is an avid student of early twentieth century history and literature, an ardent and relentless investigator, and an admirer of Emily Dickinson, Herman Melville, and Jim Morrison.

He lives in Virginia with his wife and their two British Shorthair cats.

Beyond the Author Bio


Born and raised in Buffalo, New York

Most important educational moments:

Mr. Houser’s 8th Grade class and the Sorbonne, Paris

Prior to becoming a novelist, Robert has been:

… a school bus driver, bison rancher, car mechanic, and traveler (he has traveled to some 55 countries so far)

Favorite books:  Moby Dick, Leaves of Grass

Biggest inspirations:  Emily Dickinson, Jim Morrison

Favorite places:  Grand Canyon

When he’s not writing, Robert is:

Tinkering with anything mechanical and training bonsai


Antique pharmacology, patent medicine and Gilded Age anything

Resides with his wife and their two cats in Northern Virginia

Unusual predicaments:

Unplanned Trans-Siberian Railway stop in January at a gulag 

Trapped inside a giant Buddha in northern Thailand

Unusual facts:

Robert reads fiction only very rarely

Fascinated with cicadas and dragonflies

People Robert would have liked to meet (in no particular order):

Buddha, Henry Clay Frick, Frank Lloyd Wright or Stanford White, Mary Magdalene, Cleopatra, Aristide Bruant, Meriwether Lewis, Emily Brontë, Sir Richard Francis Burton, Clara Driscoll

The Avenging Angel Detective Agency Mysteries … Book Construction Worthy of the Gilded Age!

In keeping with Robert Brighton’s mission to write compelling, unforgettable stories in literate English, the production values of the Avenging Angel Detective Agency Mysteries ensure these novels delight those readers who appreciate quality.

Each new Avenging Angel Detective Agency™ Mystery first appears in a hardcover Collector’s Limited Edition - this first run is limited, and when they are gone, they are gone! After the Collector’s Limited Editions are sold out, the books will enter subsequent print runs, and will be labeled as such.

Collector’s Limited Editions cost no more than later editions, but readers get so much more by acting quickly!

The casebound (hardcover) version is a Collector’s Limited Edition, and boasts a full heavy dust jacket, which is matte finished to prevent fingerprints from marring the commissioned art on each cover (and feels so great in readers' hands).  Spot gloss highlights important elements of the design.  The boards are stamped in gold foil; the endpapers are of quality moiré selected specially for each edition. Inside, the paper is sustainable heavy acid-free paper, Smyth-sewn in signatures to lie flat when open. It feels good to run the fingers over these quality pages, offset-printed in easy-on-the-eyes Garamond typeface … no eyestrain for readers who can’t put these books down!

And … inside each of Robert Brighton’s novels are three unique, commissioned scratchboard masterworks by the finest artists working in the genre:  Mark Summers (Rolling Stone’s and Barnes & Noble’s exclusive portrait artist) joins us in A Murder in Ashwood and in Robert's third novel of the series (title to be revealed soon, publishing in early 2024) and Douglas Smith (illustrator of Wicked and other notable projects) shines in The Unsealing.  

If you prefer e-books, our designers have ensured that the layout works on your favorite devices, whether new or old, and across platforms.  We've still included the illustrations (rare if at all present in books these days, and especially in e-books) for your enjoyment. 

We welcome you into these stories in whatever way you prefer to read them.

In short, the Avenging Angel Detective Agency Mysteries are great reads and great books … books that readers will be proud to own.

For those of you who enjoy learning more details about these books, and book-making in general, this next section is for you...

Collector’s Limited Edition Hardcover:  Every aspect of fine bookmaking is reflected in these limited-quantity first editions

Printing & Production

  • Printed with traditional ‘offset’ printing using metal plates, which are destroyed after the print run is complete
  • Spines are ‘signature-sewn’, not glued, so pages are firmly affixed and will lie flat when reading
  • Each volume arrives shrinkwrapped in lightweight film to protect the book in handling and transit.  On bookstore shelves you will not be purchasing a ‘well thumbed’ copy, but a pristine copy opened by you

Exterior Features

  • Full-color, wraparound dust jacket with spot-gloss treatment and a matte finish to discourage fingerprints
  • ‘Boards’ (the hard covers themselves) are heavyweight fiber, covered in rich cloth, and hot-stamped in gold foil

Interior Features

  • Classic, top-quality endpapers line the cover and protect the pages inside
  • Paper is FSC-certified, acid-free archival heavy paper, with a creamy look and pleasing texture
  • Printed in easy-on-the-eyes Garamond font
  • Three interior illustrations are commissioned especially for each book

Ashwood Press... Collector’s Limited Editions of Robert Brighton’s award-winning novels are as much a pleasure to have and hold as they are to read.

For no more cost than an industry-standard book, if you act quickly you can be among the few in our modern era to own a volume worthy of the Gilded Age!

A Note From The Publisher

Hello!  We are Ashwood Press, a bespoke press with a mission to bring amazing books to amazing readers - Books for People Who Love Books™ in a guest post here on Robert's website.  We are bringing back the art of books.  

There's certainly something to be said for modern publishing, with every option available to find and buy books, and yet we believe that the craft of publishing quality books has been somewhat lost along the way.  We're changing that, starting now.

We are especially pleased to have made our first major publishing commitment to a new and promising author, Robert Brighton.  Robert is a rare discovery in the world of publishing – both a wonderful writer and also a book-lover with an eye for uncompromising quality.  You'll see that Robert has already won awards for his writing and for his books, and both Robert and his titles are garnering impressive editorial and reader reviews.  Stay tuned for more!

The Avenging Angel Detective Agency™ Mysteries are unique - each one is a treasure to read and to hold, with fascinating plots and characters who jump off the page.  The books themselves are painstakingly researched and written, and their production values are second to none:  offset-printed on high-quality, renewable paper, sewn into Smyth bindings that lie flat, and wrapped in full-color covers that will invite you into Robert Brighton’s Gilded Age. 

And – a rarity these days – each volume also features multiple commissioned interior illustrations by some of the world’s best artists.  

We've partnered with the best designers, editors, proofreaders, printers and distributors so that we can bring these novels to you.

We feel so strongly about this project that we’ve asked Robert for five full-length novels – at least.  The first of these, The Unsealing, officially published on February 28, 2023, to be followed closely by A Murder in Ashwood with a publication date of June 27, 2023.

Please join us on an curated, artisanal publishing adventure that will place in your hands books you’ll be proud to own – and yet at no greater cost than mass-produced alternatives.  We'd love to hear what you think!  

For those of you reading this who are authors, publicists and publishing industry professionals, please keep an eye on this space.  We will introduce our sister company in early 2024, and they will focus on providing top-notch, sought after services to help writers, distributors, booksellers and all those working to bring great works to light.  If you're interested, drop a line to us here on Robert's site (just scroll down to the bottom of this page) and we can get acquainted.