The Bouquet Page has been set up specifically to accommodate those who have read “85 Grams”, “Nobody’s Boy” or “John Muir” and have something ‘nice’ to say; but in reality we all know there has to be some negative.


“Bouquets for the Soul”
John Soares
Hi. I am not a reader at all, having never read a complete book until the age of 42.
“85 Grams” is that first book I read from start to finish in a very short time. It was then followed by “Nobodys Boy” which was again read in a very short time.
I have always been intrigued by the “bad guy” and how they can out-smart the authorities with all there education and technology. Who doesn’t love an underdog?
Anyways, in what I have read and further online searching, I have so many questions. I never pass Arts old property without looking and wondering what was and still is. I have driven by Ralph’s property on Rosalie Rd and tried getting a sneak peak to no avail.
Then there’s Phil (Stirling)…
I guess I don’t have any specific or direct questions, just looking for any other tidbits that were left out of the books from a direct source.
Hat off to writing these two incredible books!


“Bouquet from Kim Madden”
I just finished reading 85 grams today. I was excited to read it and was not disappointed.
As a kid I had heard about Art through my dad, who knew Art through his bows. We still have one of Art’s bows and three arrows he made.
I later heard more about him from his son, who married my friend. He sounded like a man of mystery and intrigue.
Thanks for telling this story. The book was very engaging and easy to read. Art and his crew became notorious but they were also like regular folk in town.
They were my friends’ dads, known to all walks of life, so also very integrated into our community.
I look forward to reading your latest book.


Don Miller: (Nobody’s Boy) – Daryl, I got your new book from your wife on Thursday. Read the first 4 or 5 chapters that night, read the remaining chapters last night….until 5:00AM this morning. OUTSTANDING!!!

Each of your three books has their own style, each one quite suitable for the subject matter, this one really hits it out of the park. I can see now you were holding out on me when after reading about Art I had quizzed you about Phil (Stirling). You had all the details then it certainly paints a different picture than what the media came up with.

So what is next? Government officials and casinos money laundering? Maybe the name Doug Alexander comes up?

Colin Arsenault: (Nobody’s Boy) WOW….Nobody’s Boy, is a story with both answers and questions , that I thoroughly enjoyed … shows us that some people on this earth have a lot bigger balls than others…as they say “go big or go home”……..thank you Daryl …can’t wait for the next one……we can’t help but wonder, who the real crooks are…lol

Steve Barrie: (Nobody’s Boy) – Loving this book too, almost finished, some things in this one that were a part of my old life

Ken Bryski: (Nobody’s Boy) – Great book! Couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. Only stopped reading long enough for a dinner break

Carol Powers: (Nobody’s Boy) – “Right on Daryl.. this is going to be my Xmas present to myself! I can’t wait I already have a signed copy of 85 grams that I keep pristine and an unsigned copy which has been dog-eared and reread over and over. I can’t get enough of our own Island history. And we who are Islanders know just how many “stories” there really are!! Keep ‘em comin!!”

Faye McKinnon: (John Muir) – “Just wanted to send out an enthusiastic recommendation for this book!
In John Muir: West Coast Pioneer, Daryl Ashby has written a tremendous account of the settling of Vancouver Island and manages to educate and entertain with every page. Two thumbs.”

Well from me to you: “Three thumbs up to Faye for taking the time to share her voice

Wayne Cave: (85 Grams) – “Just read 85 Grams and highly recommend this boo. Extensive research. This true account is worthy of a movie. At the end I wanted more”

Aaron McKee: (85 Grams) – “Hi Daryl, they say not to buy anything for yourself before Christmas so I had to wait for your book (lol). I just finished it and loved it! Dale (Elliott) was a friend of mine and he said ‘there’s gonna be a book’. I can’t imagine how much work had to be put into writing this book. I will be telling a lot of people to get a copy. Thanks for all your hard work.”

Sue Lauman – Manager, Indigo Chapters, Nanaimo: (85 Grams) Hi Daryl. I have been selling your book (85 Grams) like crazy and went to buy one tonight for my dad and we are sold out! I have been recommending it to every true crime shopper this week and it has been flying out of here. I need 20 more, but they will likely be sold by next week.

Award Winner: (85 Grams) Canada Book Awards has recognized “85 Grams: Art Williams – Drug Czar” as the winner of their prestigious award on December 6, 2018.

Sandy Collins-Chiang: John Muir) “Daryl, I just finished this book. It is the best book I’ve ever read! Please write more books for me ! ! !”

Hailey Mannynvali: (85 Grams) – “I was so consumed with your book that I was disappointed when I turned the last page. I’m very thankful that you continue to post more pieces of the story that still has me so intrigued.”

Deanna Walts Bamford: (85 Grams) – “I downloaded the book on Kindle and finished reading it a few hours ago. It brought back memories of the stories Dale (Art’s right-hand man) told me. I was only 16 when I first met him while he was at Elbow Lake (prison). I traveled there with Ingrid (wife) and Steven (son) for a visit. I enjoyed your book and couldn’t put it down until I had finished it. I’m going to order a hardcover which I will give to my daughter for Christmas.”

Diane Donaldson: (85 Grams) “Good job on 85 Grams. I was reading another book and couldn’t put your’s down, so it’s your fault I’m tired this morning! I stayed up to late to finish it.”

David Dale: (85 Grams) –Just finished your book and thought it was marvelous! Having grown up down the road from the Elliotts and having worked next to the Williams, it was so interesting to be able to put details to the faces.”

Nomi Bredin: (85 Grams) – “I just finished reading the book. Very interesting and good writing. I just don’t understand what you went through for research. This book is amazing.”

Mariah Dupuy: (85 Grams) –I read this book in one sitting yesterday, totally engrossing !”

Sue Rocco: (85 Grams) –My husband is not an avid reader, did not put your book 85 Grams down until it was done. Great job Daryl maybe I can read it now”

Bob Eakin: (85 Grams) – I am not an intellect by any estimation but I found your 85 Grams to be extremely well written for my preference with an ‘easy read’ flow. Terrific book, could not put down so cover to cover in 7 hours.

I suppose the subject content was an advantage as I have always had the ‘perverse’ interest in the drug world (never participated), came to the island from Edmonton (mentioned in book – grew up in the river flats at school next to Littles Brick yard – not sure any connection but the name Littles rang home as well as a local news caster Daphne Little.

Another major ‘hook’ was the local island references –plenty of mountain hiking in the area past 15 years here, quite familiar with Ladysmith, Chemanis etc.. – So you touched on many areas of my personal history by coincidence and with such a comfortable read I thoroughly enjoyed your writing – will research your other endeavors but just wanted to pass on recognition for 85 Grams.

Hollie Andrew: (John Muir) – This afternoon I finished reading your account of John Muir’s life on Vancouver Island, and it added a great deal to my knowledge of a number of things from that part of the country. I knew the HBC was a villain in much of Western Canada, but hadn’t realized how strong it was for such a long time also in BC.
I have been to Valparaiso, Chile with my Chilean friend, Miriam, and we spent a week there in a nice time-share about 10 or 11 years ago. So, it was interesting to find out what a successful city port it was so long ago.
Your history of the Island shows again how so often we perpetuate the names of earlier people even if they were not particularly nice or honourable folks. The Muirs were certainly a fine Scottish family, and i enjoyed getting to know them a bit.
Anyway, I’m glad I had a chance to read this book and to gain a new perspective. I will recommend it to my friend in Comox and my friend in Nanaimo, because they would both likely know many of the spots you described in the saga.

Sina Marie McCasky: (85 Grams) – Just finished the book Daryl! Awesome… a definite recommend to anyone… but knowing the area and some of the people just made it even more interesting!!!

E752 – Crown’s Primary Informant: (85 Grams) – Have read it and still digesting lots of Art history. So much I was right about re; HIS TENACITY, intelligence, AND Playing with truth. Should tell you about transcripts I have from RCMP I was given containing actual conversations taped by me with Art. Volumes in huge binders. Just have to remember where stored.
Should burn them I guess.

Vance Smith: (85 Grams) Just finished 85 Grams – couldn’t put it down.
Fascinating and shocking what goes on in our backyard. The amazing research and quotes make you feel like you were there. A deep look into the underworld and what the RCMP were doing to fight it. Unbelievable at times. must read for sure.
This would make a great movie!


Pat O’Shea: (85 Grams) – Hi Daryl, Finished your book yesterday. It was great to get the holes filled in. It’s too bad Ralph didn’t get a chance to read it. I’m sure that Happy will appreciate it. Anyway, loved the book. Hope to see you at the launch.

Al Wills – President, Archery Canada: (85 Grams) – Even though I’ve been in archery for more than 47 years, many of which as President of Archery Canada, I’m afraid I never knew Art Williams, although I have lived with his exploits both on Vancouver Island and across Canada for all that time! From his resurrecting and then the countless articles in the Canadian Archer to his powered archery lane automatically returning the butt to the shooting line for arrow retrieval, I’ve seen a lot! The legend of his eclectic meetings as the Canadian Archery Federation chair are classic! So, when I met Daryl Ashby during his research for his book 85 grams, I was even more fascinated! What followed was a long history of me bugging Daryl as to when the book was finished, it took a while, but finally this year, the word was out, the book was done! I couldn’t meet Daryl fast enough to get a copy!! I thoroughly enjoyed the book, what a character he was! I was a bit disappointed by how quickly (for me only I’m sure) the archery ended! However, I was still fascinated by his life, his exploits and his genius. It read like I knew him and by the end I felt like I’d been a part of his life! I must drop in and see Happy again! Now I smile even more as I look at his bows and magazines in my collection!

Rob Johnson – vice-pres. Ladysmith Archives & Historical Society: (85 Grams) – I finished your book very enjoyable, well researched and I like how you made the people come alive and you got to know them

Sue Spicer – Yuma Ariz: (85 Grams) Darn you Daryl Ashby! Just loaded your new book on my Kindle… I WAS in the middle of another book but made the mistake of reading the Prologue on your book and now I’m hooked! What other book??? Can’t put it down !!! Looks like a perfect read.

Margaree Elliott – Dale Elliott’s wife: (85 Grams) – Oh I am enjoying it – was just looking at the pictures.

Rick Gonder – retired RCMP: (85 Grams) – I was working with Dave Staples during this investigation. Your book is an excellent read

Laurie Krall: (85 Grams) Picked up my book today at salamander book store. So stoked to read it. Can’t put it down

Holly Oelette: (85 Grams) I’ve shared your post Daryl. I find this story very interesting! I work at Chapters and it is definitely selling from our store!

Bill Sampson wish we could go, I’m a slow reader, read about 1/3 of the book and it’s very well written and very interesting reading about this history that was going on as I was growing up. I even recognize some of the names. some of the Elliott’s used to live only a couple miles down the road where I grew up. I never did and still don’t believe he crashed his plane, as it was never found

Wilbroad Juma – Nairobi, Kenya: (85 Grams) Wow, I am really longing to read this piece, how can someone get a copy of this? is it available in the African market?

Joy & Eli Fricker: (85 Grams) This looks like a book I’d love to read.

Cheryl Ashby: (John Muir & 85 Grams) – I have read John Muir and swear if History books were written this way in high school, I would have passed History class with flying A’s. It kept me on the edge of my seat the whole time! Currently reading 85 Grams and would highly recommend it! Fascinating read and each page leaves me wanting to know more

Wendy Ashby: (85 Grams) – A lot of blood, sweat and tears went in to the making of Daryl’s new book “85 Grams”. It is a true account of what took place many years ago with the notorious Art Williams, the Drug Czar of Ladysmith. This read will keep you spell bound until you finally say, “It is finished”. Just enough intrigue, mystery, crime, murder and even some relationship issues to keep you on your toes

Brent Ridge – son of Art Williams right-hand man: (85 Grams) Hey good morning to you sir. My mom told me some great news this morning about the book. I just wanted to say thank you for doing that I can’t wait to read it

Elliott Hockley: (85 Grams) – Good to hear you’re already drawing interest, you’ve written a great book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading it. I’ll certainly be recommending it.

Dave Obee – Managing Editor Times Colonist: (85 Grams) – I would love to see it

Brenda Bailey: (85 Grams) – Cannot wait to get my hands on this book: 85 Grams Art Williams Drug Czar

Barbara Bennett: (85 Grams)I’m going to get this book on Art Williams, I was around for his product back in the day.

Wendy Ashby: (85 Grams) So proud of my husband. He is adept at building cars and writing great books. 85 Grams is a must read as it has a little bit of everything in it that even a fiction reader will love it. 🙂