M. C. Muir’s The Seventy-Four is the latest novel in her ‘Under Admiralty Orders – The Oliver Quintrell Series’ and starts with Quintrell arriving in Rio de Janeiro where he receives welcome new orders from a seventy-four which he is now required to escort to England.
With the power of the seventy-four it should be an easy voyage but they are soon engaged with two French frigates. When one is sunk and the other captured the British Captains have to spread their crews through the three ships whilst guarding a substantial number of prisoners. Into this mix is thrown some dissaffected Irishmen.All the threads were woven into a well wiritten plot which was an enjoyable read. In the Quintrell series the plots differ from the norm as the things tend to go wrong, even though it comes right in the end, which also makes them a refreshing amd believable read.Both the book and the series as a whole are highly recommended reading.
Source: Review: The Seventy-Four by M. C. Muir
John Drake has just released a new book in his Jacob Fletcher series, Fletcher and the Great Raid. It is now available in paperback and for kindle download worldwide.
1795: Inventor James Watt is accused of stealing a patent for a steam engine by the McCloud brothers. Furious with their boss, they take their technology to France, where Napoleon Bonaparte promises great things to come. The French and the English are at war, and a steam engine would be very valuable, allowing either side to leap the channel.Jacob Fletcher is a career navy man. Whether he wanted to be or not is open for debate. He is serving on the Serpant, under the inept Captain Cuthbert Percival-Clive, whose mother is Prime Minister William Pitt’s sister. Captain Percival-Clive has no interest in anything to do with his ship, and spends as much time as possible lounging in hotels, leaving all the work to Fletcher.During a test to see if Fletcher is fit for promotion, a civilian named Rowland sits in. But the mysterious Rowland has more in store for Fletcher than a test. Fletcher is tasked to find and destroy anything he finds at sea regarding the steam engine, before the French can build one. A deal is struck, but when Rowland says he must also kill the McCloud brothers, the English-Scots who betrayed their country, Fletcher is not sure how far he is willing to go.Promoted to captain and given his own ship, the adventure that lies before Jacob Fletcher will challenge his resolve. Before the story is over, Fletcher will be tempted by the Devil, garrotted, and nearly blown up – all on the same night!Told through the diary dictated to his reluctant clerk, and intended for his nephews, the life of Admiral Sir Jacob Fletcher is a rollicking adventure, and a great look into life on the high sea.
Source: Fletcher and the Great Raid (PB/K)
Following the wreck of HMS Prometheus, some of the crew have managed to evade capture and a British Frigate is nearby. When their attempt to steal a vessel coincides with a cutting out attempt, action and new responsibilities follow for Tom King. Now based in Malta with a shore job he worries that his seagoing career will be over.Another well written narrative from Bond with sea action and some nefarious shoreside activities which as usual follows a wide cast of characters from all ranks as well as some civilians, all of whom you feel you know. The plot had plenty of unexpected twists which made it hard to put down.Bond’s historical accuracy, knowledge of sailing ships and characterisations imerse you in the period and he continues to be one of the best contemporary naval fiction authors. Highly recommended.
Source: Review: The Blackstrap Station by Alaric Bond
The Sugar Revolution is the second book in The Evan Ross Series which follows an officer who lost an arm and has little prospect of further sea appointments. Instead, ably assisted by James Wilton, he runs the Antigua dockyard, however, this is a cover for his counter espionage activities.
A party of French nobles are seeking to end slavery on the sugar plantations in the Caribbean islands, and if they can’t do it with words will aid slave rebellions. The navies of all the powers are seeking to stop these activities and are mistrustful of the other nations. Ross must steer a path that is diplomatic but which finds and deals with the source of the slave unrest.Whilst not a navel novel in the purest sense, with a lot of time spent ashore, it nevertheless fits the genre and has a well written plot with a good pace. Despite this lack of sea time it was an enjoyable read and is one I recommend.
Source: Review: The Sugar Revolution by Lyle Garford