Despite being pulled from the shelves in New Zealand, Ian Wishart's controversial new book on the Marlborough Sounds murders has been a big seller on online retail giant Amazon.

The book, Elementary: The Explosive File on Scott Watson and the Disappearance of Ben Smart and Olivia Hope, was this morning Amazon's 476th best seller on its Kindle Store.

READ MORE: Ian Wishart's new book pulled from shelves

It also achieved number-one best-seller status in the sub-categories Murder & Mayhem and Forensic Psychology.


Yesterday, the book was pulled from Whitcoulls' bookshelves after author Keith Hunter -- who has also written on the conviction of Watson for murdering Smart, 21, and Hope, 17, in 1998 -- threatened to sue Wishart and anyone selling Elementary if the book contained criticism of his professional conduct.

A Whitcoulls staff member said the company's head office had sent branches an email saying the book had to be pulled from sale.

Several Whitcoulls stores the Herald contacted this morning said they were still not stocking the book.

The bookstore is being sought for official comment.

Wishart said the sales on Amazon were "an incredible thing".

He said he had been told Whitcoulls had received a complaint from Hunter about the book. "It appears to be an attempt by Keith Hunter to gag the book."

He threatened his own court action. "Ian Wishart is now considering legal action against Mr Hunter for slander of goods. It will be extraordinarily costly to Mr Hunter for putting a spanner in the works of a major book he hasn't even read."