The Nautical Fiction List
An Annotated Bibliography of
based in part on the work of John Kohnen
A-B | C-D | E-F | G-H | I-K | L-M | N-Q | R-S | T-Z
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LaBarge, William M.
Sweetwater Sullivan series:
- Road to Gold. Harper, 1993. 327 p.
Sweetwater Sullivan tells a first-person tale of
joining the navy, going through flight school, and hunting drug
smugglers. Suffers from a high improbability factor.
- Sweetwater Gunslinger 201 : a saga of carrier pilots who live by chance, love by choice. Aero, 1983. 190 p.
With Robert Lawrence Holt. Adventures
of fighter pilots aboard the USS KITTYHAWK during the late '70s --
early '80s told third person. Definitely pre-Tailhook, but hilarious
reading, while sending a moral message that Dr. Laura would approve.
- Hornet's Nest. Jove, 1991. 301 p.
Sweetwater Sullivan in F/A-18s in the Persian Gulf. Set
before the Gulf War was a gleam in George Bush's eye. There are
several chapters dealing with the Tanker War (US intervention in the
Iran-Iraqi war) and a lot of other stuff, too.
La Farge, Oliver (1901-1963)
Long Pennant. Houghton Mifflin, 1933. 305 p.
New England nautical adventure.
Laing, Alexander Kinnan (1903-1976)
The Sea Witch: A Narrative of the Experiences of Capt. Roger Murray and
Others in an American Clipper Ship During the Years 1846 to 1856. Farrar & Rinehart, 1933. 487 p.
The adventures of three brothers and their relationship with a
particular clipper ship during the short heyday of the American clipper
ships in the China tea trade.
Jonathan Eagle. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1955. 523 p.
In 1785 a runaway lad is washed up on shore,
adopted by a town, and named Jonathan Eagle. He returns to the sea
again and again, experiencing slavery in Algiers, the French
Revolution, RN press gangs and finally the command of his own vessel.
Matthew Early. Duell, Sloan and Pearce, 1957. 372 p.
Yankee skipper's ambivalent feelings towards slavery
and love lead him to drift ineffectually through life -- failing to
liberate a childhood friend sold illegally into slavery, drifting into
the US Navy and out again, drifting into carrying slaves, drifting into
smuggling, drifting in and out of love, and eventually drifting onto a
lee shore. Set in the period from 1798-1803.
No Ordinary Seaman. A. Barker, 1957. 223 p.
We follow the fortunes, in many cases the lack
of fortunes, of the officers and men of the Royal Navy cruiser AIGRETTE
as she contends with the attentions of the Italian Air Force and then
the Nazi dive bombers in the Eastern Mediterranean in the desperate
days of 1941, following the campaigns in Greece and Crete. This novel's
intention seems to be to emphasise the role of the Boy Seamen, there
were thirty in a cruiser the size of the "A-GRETTE", not yet eighteen
and in training establishments and ships for nearly two years, they
served alongside the men but were not allowed any adult privileges
except to die. A gritty story of the unremitting hardship of the war at
Lambdin, Dewey (1945- )
Alan Lewrie naval adventure series:
- The King's Coat. D.I. Fine, 1989. 397 p.
In 1780, 17-year-old Alan Lewrie's father
ships him off to the Royal Navy hoping never to hear from him again.
But Midshipman Lewrie takes to Navy life in spite of himself.
- The French Admiral. D.I. Fine, 1989. 414 p.
Lewrie is ashore at Chesapeake Bay
fighting American Colonists in 1781.
- The King's Commission. D.I. Fine, 1991. 400 p.
Commissioned a lieutenant in 1782,
Lewrie confronts the Spanish and French in the Caribbean.
- The King's Privateer. D.I. Fine, 1992. 360 p.
Lieutenant Lewrie sails for the China
Seas on a secret mission to counter French and Spanish troublemakers
in the region.
- The Gun Ketch. D.I. Fine, 1993. 312 p.
Lewrie commands his own ship in a search for a
notorious pirate in the Bahamas in 1786.
- H.M.S. Cockerel. D.I. Fine, 1995. 360 p.
For Squire Lewrie, domestic life as a husband,
father, and farmer is dull and boring. But renewed war with the
French in 1793 sends Alan and the Royal Navy to the aid of French
Royalists at the port of Toulon. Alan, as it seems to be his way,
get's put aboard a Frigate, HMS COCKEREL, as first lieutenant under a
mad captain out of the East India Company who has loaded the officers
and midshipmen's berths with family members, and is paranoid about
mutinies. In France he takes the first opportunity to get rid of the
"mutineers"... including Alan of course. What follows is mostly land
action. At the end it's Admiral Hood to the rescue... and a brief
visit with CAPTAIN Nelson - long before he gets the VICTORY, and Alan
gets acquainted with Lady Hamilton.
- A King's Commander. D.I. Fine, 1997. 370 p.
Lewrie, in command of JESTER, 18, sails from
England to Gibraltar with dispatches, only to get tangled up in the
"Glorious First of June" battle. Following his arrival at Gibraltar
he takes an old flame to Corsica, gets assigned to Horatio Nelson's
team, and generally makes life miserable for the French, until two
old enemies from A KING'S PRIVATEER -- one French and on British,
reappear to make Lewrie's own life miserable.
- Jester's Fortune. Dutton, 1999. 373 p.
A scheme by the Royal Navy to enroll Serb pirates in fighting the French during the Napoleonic Wars is opposed by Alan Lewrie, captain of a sloop in the Adriatic. But the commander of his squadron goes ahead anyway and the consequences are disastrous, the Serbs taking the opportunity for some ethnic cleansing.
- The King's Captain. St. Martin's Press, 2000. 358 p.
aFresh from a stunning victory against the formidable Spanish Armada in the Battle of St. Vincent's Cape, Lewrie is promoted and rewarded with the command of an enviable new warship. Shortly after being installed as the captain of the H.M.S. Proteus, he must contend with a treasonable mass mutiny, a bitter enemy bent on revenge, and several rather complicated romantic entanglements.
- Sea of Grey. Thomas Dunne Books, 2002. 391 p.
Captain Alan Lewrie witnesses a failing British intervention on the wealthy French colony of Saint Dominique, the scene of a brutal slave rebellion headed by future Haitian independence leader, Toussaint L'Ouverture.
- Havoc's Sword. Thomas Dunne Books, 2003. 372 p.
Captain Alan Lewrie has rashly vowed to uphold a friend's honour in a duel to the death. Second, he faces the horridly unwelcome arrival of HM Government's Foreign Office agents (out to use him as their cat's-paw in impossibly vaunting schemes against the French). And last, he must engineer the showdown with his arch foe and nemesis, the hideous ogre of the French Revolution's Terror, Guillaume Choundas.
- The Captain Vengeance. Thomas Dunne Books, 2004. 336 p.
Searching for a prize ship that has been stolen along with its crew from war-stricken 1799 Dominica, captain Alan Lewrie finds himself in the infamous pirate waters off of New Orleans and is forced to relinquish his command in order to identify the thieves.
- A King's Trade. Thomas Dunne Books, 2006. 339 p.
Royal Navy captain Alan Lewrie in hot water for "liberating" a dozen slaves from their Caribbean plantation and putting them to work on his ship, the HMS Proteus. Facing the prospect of court martial and a civil trial, Lewrie reluctantly agrees when Zachariah Twigg of the Foreign Office suggests a scheme that might save his career: recasting the incorrigible captain as an abolitionist hero.
- Troubled Waters. Thomas Dunne Books, 2008. 307 p.
As Captain Lewrie prepares to lead an attack on the French coast in 1800, he is recalled to London to stand trial for a crime he didn't quite commit.
- The Baltic gambit. Thomas Dunne Books, 2009. 353 p.
Captain Lewrie is headed toward Russia in Britain's last attempt to stave off war between the nations.
- King, ship, and sword. Thomas Dunne Books, 2010. 358 p.
When war breaks out again in May of 1803, Lewrie has fresh orders, a new frigate, and a chance to punish and pursue the French, but it's no longer for Duty or King and Country--now it's personal.
- The invasion year. Thomas Dunne Books, 2011. 355 p.
After reluctantly saving the last French citizens left on rebellious Haiti, Lewrie finds himself invited back to London to receive honors from the King and soon finds himself back at sea testing a newfangled weapon called a "torpedo" and defending England from an invasion by Napoleon.
- Reefs and shoals. Thomas Dunne Books, 2012. 368 p.
New orders allow Lewrie to form a small squadron from what ships he can dredge up at Bermuda and New Providence and hoist his first broad pendant, even if it is the lesser version, and style himself a Commodore. Lewrie is to scour the shores of Cuba and Spanish Florida, the Keys and the Florida Straits in search of French and Spanish privateers which have been taking British merchantmen at an appalling rate, and call upon neutral American seaports to determine if privateers are getting aid and comfort from that quarter.
- Hostile Shores. Thomas Dunne Books, 2013. 354 p.
In 1805, with news of Admiral Nelson's death fresh on his mind, Captain Lewrie's HMS Reliant joins up in the voyage that will culminate in the Battle of Cape Town, in which the British wrested control of South Africa from the Dutch. In the wake of that victory, Lewrie heads west to South America, where Britain's attacks on Buenos Aires and other Spanish colonies have not been faring as well. But the worst is yet to come, and soon Lewrie will be facing a battle at sea that will put his naval career and life at risk.
- The King's Marauder. Thomas Dunne Books, 2014. 368 p.
The year 1807 starts out badly for Captain Alan Lewrie, Royal Navy. His frigate HMS Reliant has a new captain, he's living at his father's estate at Anglesgreen, among spiteful neighbors and family, and he's recovering from a wound suffered in the South Atlantic. At last, there's a bright spot. When fit, Admiralty awards him a new commission; not a frigate but a clumsy, slow two-decker Fourth Rate 50. Are his frigate days over for good?
- Kings and Emperors. Thomas Dunne Books, 2015. 353 p.
Captain Alan Lewrie, Royal Navy, is still in Gibraltar, his schemes for raids along the coast of Southern Spain shot to a halt. He is reduced to commanding a clutch of harbor defense gunboats in the bay while his ship, HMS Sapphire, slowly grounds herself on a reef of beef bones! Until Napoleon Bonaparte's invasion of peaceful Portugal and his so-called collaborative march into Spain change everything, freeing Sapphire to roam against the King's enemies once more.
- A Hard Cruel Shore. Thomas Dunne Books, 2016. 339 p.
Admiralty needs troopships, not slow, old 4th Rate two-deckers, so Lewrie must beg, borrow, steal, and gild the facts most glibly if he wishes to keep her and her skilled crew together. Just when he imagines he's succeeded, new orders come appointing him a Commodore over a wee squadron assigned to prey upon French seaborne supply convoys off the treacherous North coast of Spain, better known as the "Costa da Morte," the Coast of Death, where the sea may be more dangerous to him and his ships than the French Navy!
- Fine Retribution. Thomas Dunne Books, 2017. p.
What Lies Buried : a Novel of Old Cape Fear. McBooks, 2005. 282 p.
A well-respected political leader is found dead on a road in pre-revolutionary Cape Fear, North Carolina, and the subsequent murder investigation uncovers oceans of ill will across the socio-economic spectrum.
L'Amour, Louis (1908-1988)
Fair Blows the Wind. Dutton, 1978. 282 p.
The master western writer tells the tale of
Captain Chantry, abandoned on coast of North Carolina in the 1580s, and
his battles against pirates, Spaniards, British and Indians.
Night Over the Solomons. Bantam, 1986. 175 p.
Collection of stories set in the Pacific
or South America in WW II or just after. Only one, Mission to
Siberut, is primarily nautical. It deals with an attempt by the
Germans to smuggle a set of Me 110s to the Japanese in December
West From Singapore. Bantam, 1987. 160 p.
"Ponga Jim Mayo" and his tramp steamer
SEMIRAMIS range the South Seas in search of a fast buck and adventure
in the period between 1939 and 1941. Along the way they help British
Intelligence put down German and Italian efforts to smuggle in subs,
arm the natives, or other nasty Germanic activities.
Lancaster, Bruce (1896-1963)
Blind Journey. Little, Brown, 1953. 303 p.
Soldier takes to sea to get messages to Franklin in France, and then back to the Colonies during the American Revolution.
Lots of soldier learning about the sea scenes. Only nautical book in an
otherwise land-centered series.
Venture in the East. Little, Brown, 1951. 317 p.
A Dutch pilot gets involved with the Shimabara
Revolution that results in Japanese ports being closed to all
Westerners but the Dutch for 200 years. And *you* thought SHOGUN was
the first treatment of this war.
Land, Jon (1960- )
The Eighth Trumpet. Ballentine, 1989. 400 p.
A madman with an army of goons tries to destroy the world by attacking a vulnerable area of Antarctica. A submarine is commandeered for its valuable cargo and the hero, Jared Kimberlain, must stop them.
Lane, Carl Daniel (1899-1995)
The Fleet in the Forest. Coward-McCann, 1943. 369 p.
Fiction about the Battle of Lake Erie in
The Fire Raft. Little, Brown, 1951. 210 p.
Novel about the NEW ORLEANS, first steamboat on Ohio and
Mississippi rivers. Mixes fiction with true adventure. On the first
trip from Pittsburgh to New Orleans they encounter a comet, an
earthquake, a flood, river pirates and a fight with Chickasaws.
Avenge the Belgrano. Walker, 1988. 237 p.
The British sub CONQUEROR sinks the Argentine
cruiser GENERAL BELGRANO during the Falkland Islands War. A group of
Anglo-Argentine terrorists vow revenge, set out to blow up the sub at
its base in Scotland. Later reprinted with the title: Conqueror down!.
Langsford, A. E. (1959- )
HMS Marathon. Barrie & Jenkins, 1989. 228 p.
WW II, RN cruiser captain, Med/Malta convoy ops,
details pretty good, but not the best read.
Largent, R. Karl
Red Tide. Leisure, 1992. 442 p.
A secret meeting between the former Soviet Union and the United States is sabotaged by top-ranking, ex-Soviet government officials who plan to overthrow the heirs of Gorbachev and Yeltsin by launching from submarines a nuclear attack.
The Sea. Leisure, 1999. 362 p.
A salvage expert learns that a sunken German U-boat contains more than the Nazi gold he has been hired to retrieve.
Larrouy, Maurice (1882-1939)
The Odyssey of a Torpedoed Transport. Houghton Mifflin, 1918. 216 p.
Translation of L'Odyssée d'un transport torpillé.
Larsson, Bjorn (1953- )
The Celtic Ring. Seafarer, 1997. 388 p.
The appearance of a log-book recounting a series of bizarre events prompts Ulf and his friend Torben to make a journey that draws them into a deadly duel with arms smugglers and members of a Druidic cult. Translation of Den keltiska ringen.
Long John Silver : the true and eventful history of my life of liberty and adventure as a gentleman of fortune & enemy to mankind. Harvill, 1999. 389 p.
Published in Swedish in 1985. The entertaining
"autobiography" of literature’s best known pirate.
Laskier, Frank (1912- )
Log Book. Allen & Unwin, 1942. 109 p.
A fictionalized account of merchant service, WW II
German attack, and harrowing survival by a British mechant seaman who
in real life survived the sinking of a tanker in 1940, came back for
training as a Merchant Seaman Gunner, and was one of a handful of
survivors when his next ship was sunk by the ADMIRAL SCHEER early in
1941; he lost part of a leg as a result, and while in England waiting
for a prosthesis told his story on the BBC. He shipped out once more,
and apparently wrote the book in Halifax in 1942. The protagonist is
named simply Jack, and his full seagoing career is set down briefly:
he runs away to sea at twelve, learns his trade on a variety of vessels
on various oceans (meeting several of his seagoing brothers along the
way), suffers various adventures and misadventures and finally survives
the sinking of the COURAGEOUS by a nameless surface raider - the only
truly convincing part of the narrative - and the book ends with Jack
in his mother's parlor, new wife Betty at his side along with four
brothers, about to tell his story into a radio microphone... "[Laskier]
seems to have favored the short-sentence approach; I imagine this went
over better in 1943 than it would now." [MF]
Laumer, Keith (1925-1993)
The Drowned Queen (The Avengers #6). Berkley, 1968. 127 p.
A combination luxury liner / submarine is sabotaged on its maiden voyage. Mr. Steed and Emma Peel's sucessor Tara King save the day.
The Trials of the Phideas. Ward Lock, 1944. 224 p.
A novel about the delivery voyage of a
paddle steamer from the UK to South America.
Latham, Jean Lee
Carry on, Mr. Bowditch. Houghton Mifflin, 1955. 251 p.
Fictionalized biography of Nathaniel
Bowditch. A young boy joins the privateer HENRY, works his way up to
captain. For young readers. Newberry Award winner. A classic.
Man of the Monitor; the story of John Ericsson. Harper, 1962. 231 p.
Novel about John Ericsson, creator of the Civil
War ironclad MONITOR. For young readers.
Event 1000. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1971. 279 p.
A submarine sunk by a collision is trapped 1,300 ft
down while everyone tries to help. Made into the movie "Grey Lady Down".
The Continuing Voyages of HMS Surprise:
- The Massacre of Innocents. Mainsail Voyages Press, 2014. 464 p.
Captain Pat O'Connor, Lieutenant Duncan Macleod and Doctor Simon Ferguson return from half-pay to command the frigate HMS Surprise, returned to service after long years 'in ordinary' at Plymouth Dock. HMS Surprise escorts Lord Byron to Cephalonia and then aids the fledgling Greek navy against the crushing Ottoman fleet superiority.
Howard had a Submarine. Lion, 1988. 1 v.
Howard's exploration of the underwater world in his uncle's submarine leads him to the discovery that God has made a world full of color and variety.
Lawrence, Iain (1955- )
The Wreckers. Delacorte, 1998. 196 p.
An adventure yarn set on the Cornish coast in the
18th century when ships were lured onto the rocks. Shipwrecked after a
vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his
father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the
coastal town where they are stranded. Often compared to Treasure Island. For young readers.
The Smugglers. Delacorte, 1999. 183 p.
A sequel to The Wreckers. In eighteenth-century
England, after his father buys a schooner called the DRAGON, sixteen
year old John sets out to sail it from Kent to London and becomes
involved in a dangerous smuggling scheme.
Lawrence, Steven C. (pseud. Lawrence A. Murphy)
A Northern Saga. Playboy, 1976. 286 p.
Story of the Liberty Ship JOHN MASON and its crew
as the ship accompanies a Murmansk convoy in May 1942, and returns to
Iceland during the sailing of PQ17. Convoy tale with the focus on the
Lawson, L. M. (Lori M.)
Green Flash. Paradise Cay Pub., 2000. 256 p.
In Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a couple discovers a woman's body floating in the ocean. Ordered to turn in a video camera found on the body to authorities as evidence, they become involved with several of the members of the seafaring community.
Lawson, Robert (1892-1957)
Captain Kidd's Cat; being the true and dolorous chronicle of Wm. Kidd,
gent. & merchant of New York, late captain of the Adventure Galley; of
the vicissitudes attending his unfortunate cruise in eastern waters, of
his incarceration in Newgate Prison, of his unjust trial and execution,
as narrated by his faithful cat, McDermot, who ought to know. Set down
and illuminated by Robert Lawson. Little, Brown, 1956. 151 p.
For young readers.
Lear, Edward (1812-1888)
The Owl and the Pussy Cat. first published in "Nonsense songs, stories, botany, and alphabets". Robert John Bush, 1871.
Fatuous poem from the Nonsense man.
Leasor, James (1923-2007)
Mandarin Gold. Heinemann, 1973. 251 p.
English trader finds fun and fortune running opium
into China during the 1830s. James Leasor, who writes stranger-than-fiction history, tries his hand at historical fiction.
Lederer, William J. (1912- )
Ensign O'Toole and Me. Norton, 1957. 247 p.
Basically a series of didactic tall-tales,
the book purports to be about a brilliant, spunky, eccentric yet
strangely normal friend of Lederer's from the Naval Academy who serves
on the China Station before WW II, in Washington after the war and
fighting commies later. Starts out light, but unfortunately the later
chapters degenerate into a thinly disguised, strident, anti-communist
diatribes. Basically, the same message as in The Ugly American:
ordinary Americans are oblivious to the desperate struggle of the
unsung heroes who battle communism. Includes a semi-autobiographical
account of the author's own time serving as XO of a gunboat in China.
Le Guin, Ursula K. (1929- )
Sur : A summary report of the Yelcho expedition to the Antarctic, 1909-1910. The New Yorker, February 1, 1982
Fantasy account of an all South American female expedition to Antarctica, the first ever to reach the South Pole.
Lehman, Ernest (1915-2005)
The French Atlantic Affair. Atheneum, 1977. 468 p.
Two rocket scientists, unemployed after
the Apollo downsizing decide to recoup their fortunes. They plan and
carry out a hijacking of a luxury liner in the Atlantic.
The Homeward Run : A story of German sailors, their battles and their loves under the shadow of defeat. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1957. 224 p.
Translation of Die Heimfahrt.
Lennep, David van
Ironclad. Poseidon, 1994. 131 p.
This novel in an attempt to bring to life the raison
d'etre for the ironclad HMS WARRIOR. The time is 1862, a year after she
was first commissioned, and British relations with the French have
deteriorated to such an extent that a French squadron is steaming
towards the Thames to emulate Admiral de Ruyter's feat of two centuries
previously. The Royal Navy is alerted, gives chase and the French are
brought to action amongst the shoals and shifting sands of the Thames
estuary. The technical aspects of WARRIOR's innovativeness are woven in
as the drama unfolds.
Lenz, Siegfried (1926- )
The Lightship. Hill and Wang, 1962. 125 p.
The captain of a lightship on its last shift before
it is taken out of service, must confront three killers who board the ship
when their boat breaks down. Originally published in German as Das
Feureschiffe in 1960.
Leroux, Gaston (1868-1927)
The Floating Prison. T.W. Laurie, 1923. 254 p.
Originally in French. Entered for the sake of
completeness. A nautical novel only because it is set aboard a French
Naval Transport taking convicts to Devils Island. They take over the
Silent Squadron. Pinnacle, 1972. 188 p.
The Nazis are operating a secret submarine base in
Ireland, so British commandos set forth on a mission to secretly
A Sailor of Napoleon; a tale of the sea. Harcourt, Brace and Co, 1927. 314 p.
This is the story of a young man who carries
out several important missions for Napoleon. In the process he goes
from Midshipman to Captain. There are several interesting battle
scenes. This is what might be called a boy's book. Not much attempt is
made to capture the language of the period. The author was probably
influenced by G. A. Henty who is far superior. The illustrations are
Lewis, C. S. (1898-1963)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader : a story for children. Geoffrey Bles, 1952. 223 p.
In the third book of Lewis'
Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian sails through magical waters to
the End of the World. Fantasy for young readers.
Lewin, Bruce L.
Greyfox Underway 1944 : a good Atlantic submarine sea story. Premier Books on Demand, 1992. 323 p.
Leyland, Eric (1911-2001)
Crash Dive : the Story of a Submarine. E. Ward, 1961. 128 p.
For young readers.
Lincoln, Joseph Crosby (1870-1944)
Cap'n Eri: A Story of the Coast. Burt, 1904. 397 p.
Fishing off the New England coast
at the turn of the century.
Rugged Water. D. Appleton, 1924. 385 p.
Classic novel about the US Lifesaving Service.
Out of the Fog. D. Appleton-Century, 1940. 360 p.
Captain Mark comes across a dead body in the fog
off Cape Cod in this mystery by the noted sea author.
Lincoln, Joseph Crosby (1870-1944) and Lincoln, Freeman
The New Hope. Coward-McCann, 1941. 407 p.
It's August of the year 1814 in the Cape Cod town of Trumet and the British have bottled up both harbors, the one on the Massachusetts Bay side and the one on the ocean side, until not even a small fishing boat can get through the blockade. Under the leadership of Captain Dole and his young companion, Jonathon Bangs, the townspeople have invested their money and their labor in outfitting a merchant vessel and manning her with a crew. They have encouraged gossip around the Cape, which they know the British blockaders will hear, that they are simply overhauling the craft, to be used as a coastwise trader when the war is over. But the real purpose of the New Hope, as the privateer is named, is to try to slip out some dark night after a store of powder has been smuggled aboard and to. run through the blockade at the risk of every life aboard and every cent invested in her.
Liston, Robert A.
The Seraphim Code. Tom Doherty, 1988. 343 p.
Sloane had left the Central Security Agency and made it clear to everyone that he was out of it. Completely. Until a KGB agent dies on Sloane's suburban doorstep, and someone takes a shot at him. Now Sloane's running again, a target of both U.S. and Soviet intelligence services. The dying man had told him something, whispered the words Seraphim Code to him, and those are words no one was supposed to hear, words known only to The Committee. While the retired spy runs for his life on land, helped only by his wife Freddy, a Russian submarine, carrying a full load of nuclear missiles, runs silently beneath the waters of the Atlantic, cruising toward an unexpected rendezvous with disaster.
Sweet Reason. Houghton Mifflin, 1974. 210 p.
Vietnam era dark comedy. Describes the first three
days that the EUGENE EBERSOLE, a superannuated WWII-era destroyer,
spends off Yankee Station during the Vietnam conflict. Naturally, the
ship has an incompetent, glory-seeking captain, misfit officers and
crew, and orders incompatible with its capabilities. Would be funnier
if it did not try so hard.
Commodore Levy: A Novel of Early America in the Age of Sail. Texas Tech University Press, 2014. 672 p.
This richly detailed historical novel closely follows the actual events of Levy's life: running away from his Philadelphia home to serve as a cabin boy at age ten; his service during the War of 1812 aboard the Argus and internment at the notorious British prison at Dartmoor; his campaign for the abolition of flogging in the Navy; and his purchase and restoration of Monticello as a tribute to his personal hero, Thomas Jefferson.
Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas. Crown, 1986. 437 p.
Fictionalized story of Grace of
Umhall, notorious pirate of Connaught, as she rules the Irish Sea,
fights English ships, and preserves Irish independence.
Llewellyn, Sam (1948- )
George le Fanu Gurney series:
- Gurney's Revenge. Arlington Books, 1977. 235 p.
George LeFanu Gurney is disgraced by the machinations
of an enemy, Ottway. He is forced to resign his commission as a
lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Seeking to rehabilitate his reputation
and destroy his accuser he embarks on nautical adventures from the
Mediterranean to the South China Sea, and back to England. Takes place
1820-22. Llewellyn's first novel. US title: Sea Devil.
Gurney's Reward. Arlington Books, 1978. 269 p.
Gurney, reputation restored, now married and
running a shipyard is forced by the Admiralty to take to the seas once
more to rescue a Dervish that aided him in SEA DEVIL. Numerous nautical
adventures in Greece during the War of Greek Independence. US title: Devil's Reward.
Gurney's Release. Arlington Books, 1979. 320 p.
On returning home to Sea Dalling, Gurney becomes involved in a duel - the outcome is death, and with it news of an old enemy. The blood spilled that day was the first of a long trail stretching across the Atlantic to the Jamaican plantation-house at Silverwood, and on by the old slave routes to the fever-swamps of the unexplored Niger delta, And as the trail grew longer it became clearer, until it bore the unmistakable mark of one Mathias Otway, merchant, hypocrite and thief, making a final desperate bid for power and riches, while teetering on the brink of insanity.
Blood Orange. Summit, 1986. 255 p.
Blackmail, corruption and lethal accidents beset a
high-tech catamaran crew in the Round Britain race.
Sea Story. St. Martin's, 1987. 396 p.
UK title: Great Circle. A cast of thousands sort of book
about an around the world sailing race. Exciting, fast reading.
Dead Reckoning. Summit, 1987. 229 p.
A boat of his own design takes down Charlie
Agutter's own brother. Now he sets sail on a personal mission: to
track down a murderous saboteur.
Death Roll. Michael Joseph, 1989. 246 p.
A pretty convoluted plot. English sailor fights
kidnappers, saboteurs, and real estate speculators on and off the
water. Features exciting storm while delivering a yacht and match races
between the hero and his nemesis. Great.
Hell Bay. Arlington, 1980. 465 p.
Irish doctor, fleeing a murder charge, gets wrecked on
the Scilly islands. He falls in with the wreckers and smugglers on
Tresco, is forced to flee to America, where he becomes rich through
mining gold. Returning to the Scillys he confronts his past and learns
the secret of his ancestry. Purportedly based on actual events.
Blood Knot. Michael Joseph, 1991. 307 p.
A former reporter plans a quiet retirement fixing up
his wooden cutter and living on it with a crew of troubled kids, but a
murder followed by attempts on his life lead him to the Baltic on a
race against death in an open boat.
Deadeye. Summit, 1991. 281 p.
British yachtsman on his way to compete in the "Three
Bens" sailing/climbing race on the west coast of Scotland bumps into
an old fishing boat and finds love, murder and a deadly secret.
The Rope School. Walker, 1991. 176 p.
It's 1813 and, like many children, Kate Griffiths has a hard life. Then things get much harder. She stows away on a Royal Navy ship, is mistaken for one of the crew, and finds herself chasing an American man-o-war. Revised by the author in 1995. US title: Eye of the Cannon.
Riptide. Michael Joseph, 1992. 310 p.
Mike Savage builds a boat for his French sailing star
friend. The boat is wrecked, his daughter threatened, friend disappears
and he tries to solve all these problems.
Clawhammer. Pocket, 1993. 373 p.
"..thriller set in a world where everyone professes the
best of intentions and no one is quite what they seem. Where a warlord
is a democratic leader and food stolen from the starving is legitimate
currency. Where a poet has to turn a lost cause into a violent crusade
-if he wants to stay alive." (from the jacket blurb) Oh, and it seems
to involve sailing a boat across the Atlantic.
Maelstrom. Pocket, 1994. 402 p.
A former anti-whaling activist gets involved with
ex-Nazis, ex-KGB agents, Mideast terrorists in a deal to get art
objects out of Russia. The plot takes he and his yacht to the Norwegian
coast on a whaling expedition.
Iron Hotel. Michael Joseph, 1996. 346 p.
Dire circumstances force a ship's captain to take a
cargo of illegal Chinese immigrants across the ocean in an ancient
rustbucket named GLORY OF SAIPAN.
Lockridge, Richard (1899-1982)
Inspector's Holiday. Lippincott, 1971. 192 p.
Inspector M. L. Heimrich's wife, Susan, contracts
pneumonia during a bad winter. Because of her slow convalescence, the
doctor recommends a holiday in a warmer climate, so they take a cruise
on an Italian vessel leaving New York for the Mediterranean. The
accommodations and food are superb, and the other passengers
interesting -- until Sir Ronald Grimes disappears. Grimes and his
lovely young wife are returning to England on his retirement from the
British Embassy. Unfortunately he is fated not to "raise roses -- or
cabbages" as he had planned. The ship's captain calls on Heimrich for
help and they discover a British Special Branch agent strangled in his
cabin. Cruise ship routine forms a background while Heimrich tries to
untangle a web of international intrigue.
Lodwick, John (1916- )
The Cradle Of Neptune. Heinemann, 1951. 285 p.
Set at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth
between the world wars, this novel, is a study of young people from all
walks of life, but all of a certain class, and their interaction as
they are moulded into potential naval officers.
Ship's Boy with Magellan. Doubleday, 1960. 185 p.
Orphaned Pedro Molino ships out on
Magellan's circumnavigation as a cabin boy to avoid getting killed by
his Uncle, who wishes to steal the boy's estate. Young readers, written
as part of a fiction series featuring Catholic world history.
London, Jack (1876-1916)
The Cruise of the Dazzler. Century, 1902. 250 p.
For young readers. 15 yr. old boy runs
away and inadvertently joins crew of a "Bay Pirate" sloop. Simplistic
plot and characters, but great descriptions of small boat sailing on
and just outside of San Francisco Bay.
The Sea-Wolf. Macmillan, 1904. 366 p.
Effite college boy vs. Nietchzian superman.
Tales of the Fish Patrol. Macmillan, 1905. 243 p.
Oyster pirates, illegal fishing and other
shenanigans on SF bay, lots of small boat sailing, much of it in
"Columbia River salmon boats."
A Son of the Sun. Grosset & Dunlap, 1912. 333 p.
The adventures of Captain David Grief in the
The Mutiny of the Elsinore. Macmillan, 1914. 392 p.
Passion and mutiny aboard a windjammer
rounding the Horn with a hard-bitten male crew and one woman
South Sea Tales. Macmillan, 1911. 321 p.
The House of Mapuhi, The Whale Tooth, Muki, "Yah! Yah! Yah!", The Heathen, The Terrible Solomons, The Inevitable White Man, The Seed of McCoy
Longstreet, Stephen (1907- )
Masts to Spear the Stars. Doubleday, 1967. 364 p.
China clipper tale.
Storm Watch. Putnam, 1979. 309 p.
A broken captain takes over command of a supertanker,
gets involved in an international conspiracy and with a bunch of
Lovejoy, William H.
Ultra Deep. Zebra, 1992. 382 p.
A Soviet rocket with a nuclear payload sinks deep into
the ocean, where it will melt down and poison the seas unless our hero
with his robot submersibles can find and disable it in time.
Bandersnatch. Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1969. 264 p.
Ex-RN officer, unable to adjust to peacetime
following heroic adventures in Med during WW II relives his glory days
by buying and living aboard the MTB that he commanded in the war, which
20 years later is a clapped-out relic. Chased out of the Spanish port
in which he was harbored by a Greek shipping tycoon, he gets revenge by
hijacking the magnate aboard his yatch, and holding him and his party
Cry Havoc. Macmillan, 1984. 256 p.
International yacht racing (Cowes & Admirals Cup) with a
vivid reconstruction of the disastrous '79 Fastnet Race, make a
fascinating background for this thriller.
The Longest Flight. J. Cape, 1982. 151 p.
Perhaps unique, about an arctic tern on its
Lüddecke, Werner Jörg (1911-1986)
Morituri. Fawcett, 1965. 192 p.
German blockade runner leaves Japan in 1943-44, with a
cargo of valuable war material, a crew full of misfits that -- facing
charges and execution in Germany -- want the ship captured, a British
spy whose mission it is to keep the Germans from scuttling the ship, a
fanatic Nazi who is convinced that the captain wants the ship to get
captured -- and a humanistic captain who is determined to get back to
Germany despite his crew, the British spy, and the "aid" of his Nazi
first officer. En route they collect a beautiful German Jewish woman
who aided a British liner to fight a German raider. Great fun. Turned
into a movie starring Yul Brynner and Marlon Brando. Original German language edition is over 500 pages long. Revised edition: "Blockadebrecher" (1970).
Let Not the Deep. HarperCoolins, 1994. 344 p.
This Atlantic-set adventure-thriller carries you
through its pages on waves: A ship with engine failure calls out
distress and the crew of the MAEVE CORRIGAN, a superbly designed
lifeboat, set out to the rescue through stormy seas. A story of
courage and testing and suspense.
King’s Shilling. HarperCollins, 1998. 352 p.
While making her way home, HMS BEAUFORT, a Royal
Navy Type 23 frigate, is diverted to Liberia, where civil war has
broken out. We follow her deployment to rescue Westerners caught up in
the carnage. A fast moving yarn of how the men and women who crew
today’s Navy cope with a fast deteriorating, potentially likely
Pilgrims. St. Martin's, 1994. 319 p.
The journey to the New World of Daisie Mason, 19, one of 102 people who made the celebrated voyage on the Mayflower. The novel portrays the strife, love and death on the journey, in which a third of the passengers did not survive.
Ship. Houghton Mifflin, 1993. 96 p.
Discovery and exploration of a wrecked Spanish caravel by
marine archeologists, and the story of its construction. Excellent
drawings. For young Readers.
The Bamboo Cannon. Crown, 1989. 233 p.
Boats, planes, love, wild oats and local
politics in the Caribbean. An abandoned smuggler's plane is stolen from the St. Thomas airport in the Virgin Islands. Winston goes after the plane in a sailboat and encounters a reluctant tourist and a hurricane.
McCammon, Robert R.
The Night Boat. Avon, 1980. 261 p.
A U-boat is discovered in a Caribbean lagoon... but
the dead crew are intent on completing their last mission in this
McCann, Hugh Wray (1928- )
"Utmost Fish!" Simon and Schuster, 1965. 384 p.
Passed-over RN personnel officer seizes his last
chance for glory in the opening days of WW I. He leads an expedition to
transport two patrol boats over 500 miles of jungle to fight a German
fleet on an African lake. Loosely based on a real incident.
McCunn, Ruthanne Lum
Sole Survivor. Design Enterprises of San Francisco, 1985. 235 p.
On November 23, 1942, German U-boats torpedoed the British ship Benlomond, and it sank in the Atlantic in two minutes. The second steward, named Poon Lim, with no knowledge of the sea, managed to stay alive for 133 days on a small wooden raft.
McCutchan, Philip (1920-1996)
Donald Cameron RNVR series:
- Cameron, Ordinary Seaman. A. Barker, 1980. 160 p.
Cameron is aboard the destroyer Carmarthen severely damaged in a surprise daylight attack.
- Cameron Comes Through. A. Barker, 1980. 157 p.
The British destroyer Wharfedale is tasked to rescue two men from Crete.
- Cameron of the Castle Bay. A. Barker, 1981. 166 p.
The Castle Bay is to blow up a secret Nazi base in the Norwegian mountains.
- Lieutenant Cameron RNVR. A. Barker, 1981. 159 p.
Cameron is the only officer among the survivors when the Northumberland is sunk by a German cruiser. Thousands of miles from land, their only hope is to be picked up by a roving warship.
- Cameron in the Gap. St. Martin's, 1982. 155 p.
Cameron, aboard destroyer BURNSIDES,
participates in a convoy to Malta, rescuing a tanker filled with
avgas in the process.
- Cameron's Convoy. St. Martin's, 1983. 156 p.
The battle-weary Sprinter has to transport VIP's bound for an arms conference in Moscow.
- Orders for Cameron. St. Martin's, 1983. 154 p.
The corvette Oleander joins in the manoeuvres of Operation Torch
- Cameron in Command. St. Martin's, 1983. 163 p.
Cameron, now commanding a corvette is sent to
stop a Japanese invasion of the Falklands. How? By blocking the
strait the Japanese plan to take!
- Cameron and the Kaiserhof. St. Martin's, 1984. 187 p.
Cameron is given orders to fly to Gibralta and make contact with a British agent.
- Cameron's Raid. St. Martin's, 1984. 184 p.
Cameron is part of a raid on Brest when he is forced to take command
- Cameron's Chase. St. Martin's, 1986. 182 p.
Cameron, commanding the destroyer GLENSHIEL,
joins the chase for the German battleship ATILLA, and becomes a
decisive part in bringing it to bay.
- Cameron's Troop Lift. St. Martin's, 1987. 185 p.
Cameron, aboard the destroyer CAITHNESS,
weathers a typhoon only to find a convoy carrying British POWs to
Singapore. How can he rescue them without sinking the troopships?
- Cameron's Commitment. St. Martin's, 1989. 190 p.
Cameron is puzzled. Why has he been given command of the light cruiser Castile?
- Cameron's Crossing. St. Martin's, 1993. 171 p.
The headstrong and capable Cmdr. Cameron
crossing to the USA aboard an aircraft carrier takes command and
saves the ship when her captain is knocked out during a fierce
St. Vincent Halfhyde series:
- Beware, Beware the Bight of Benin. St. Martin's, 1974. 164 p.
The author, in this, the first
of the series, introduces Halfhyde, a Royal Navy lieutenant, who is
on a secret assignment to forestall Russian intentions on the West
African coast. He is captured by the Russians but a subsequent mutiny
allows him to complete his mission with credit.
- Halfhyde's Island. St. Martin's, 1975. 184 p.
Halfhyde and a passed-over captain Bassinghorn
are sent on a superannuated warship, HMS VICEROY, to claim a
newly-risen volcanic island for Britain before a Russian fleet led by
Halfhyde's nemesis Prince Gorsinski, can claim it for Russia. But in
the midst of the Russo-British struggle for the island a Japanese
fleet appears, seeking Gorsinski's scalp.
- The Guns of Arrest. St. Martin's, 1976. 203 p.
Halfhyde is attached to Bassinghorn's command
on the battleship PRINCE CONSORT, and sent to Africa with Inspector
Todhunter of Scotland Yard, to recover plans stolen by a British
traitor, Sir Russell Savory and return Savory to custody. A German
fleet under the command of Admiral von Merkatz intervenes to take
Savory to Germany.
- Halfhyde to the Narrows. St. Martin's, 1977. 180 p.
Halfhyde, detached from Bassinghorn,
is given acting command of the torpedo boat VENDETTA, and as part of
a flotilla under the command of the mule-headed Captain Watkiss, is
sent through the Dardanelles to the Black Sea to rescue a British
merchant ship held under the guns of a Russian fleet commanded by
- Halfhyde for the Queen. St. Martin's, 1978. 178 p.
Halfhyde, Watkiss and their 4th TBD
flotilla are operating out of Gibraltar when Halfhyde is ordered to
pick up a Queens Messenger in Spain. Turns out there is a Spanish
plot to kill Queen Vicky -- a plot the agent _may_ or may _not_ be
party to. So, it is off to Balmoral in the VENDETTA!
- Halfhyde Ordered South. St. Martin's, 1979. 220 p.
Watkiss and Halfhyde are sent on a
mission to turn over an obsolete battleship to Chile -- except en
route they learn their real mission is to assist Todhunter to
recapture an escaped Sir Russell Savory, and free the British admiral
at that station from Chilean custody. Naturally, von Merkatz and a
German fleet are trying to stop this.
- Halfhyde and the Flag Captain. St. Martin's, 1980. 183 p.
Returning to England from Chile
with Sir Russell Savory, Halfhyde, Watkiss, and Admiral Daintree are
diverted to Uruguay, to free the British ambassador, held by the
winning faction in a coup. Daintree is driven to distraction by
Watkiss's insubordination. Von Merkatz shadowing the British
squadron, uses the coup to secure Savory for himself.
- Halfhyde on the Yangtze. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1981. 178 p.
The European residents in Chungking are threatened with rebellion and massacre by the Chinese.
- Halfhyde on Zanatu. St. Martin's, 1982. 165 p.
Halfhyde is given command of another torpedo
boat, and ordered to join Commadore Bassington's squadron off Zanatu.
There, the natives are in revolt because John Frumm, the cargo cult
deity is in residence. To end the rebellion, Halfhyde sets out to
capture Frumm, who turns out to be a shipwrecked and half-pay
Watkiss. Then, Prince Gorsinski appears on the scene, and steals
"Frumm" to use to lure islanders to Russian sovereignty.
- Halfhyde Outward Bound. St. Martin's, 1984. 165 p.
On permanent half-pay -- due to events at
the end of Zanatu -- and unhappily wed, Halfhyde signs onto a
windjammer bound for Sydney to learn how to run a merchant ship.
When the ship stops in Chile, the captain takes on a murderous
diamond-smuggling passenger, and Halfhyde is shopped to von Merkatz.
Escaping, Halfhyde enlists the aid of a sympathetic steamship captain
to rescue his old captain, and elude von Merkatz.
- The Halfhyde Line. St. Martin's, 1984. 182 p.
Halfhyde, having purchased a steamship, the
TARONGA PARK, is maneuvered into illicitly carrying arms to Ireland
from Australia. Although he attempts to warn the authorities they
fail to stop them being landed, so Halfhyde is left to retrieve the
situation. En route he begins a liason with Victoria Penn -- his
significant other for the rest of the series.
- Halfhyde and The Chain Gangs. St. Martin's, 1985. 184 p.
With the outbreak of the Boer War,
Halfhyde is recalled to active duty in the Royal Navy Reserve. Pulled
off of his ship he is given command of a square-rigger which is to
carry convict volunteers from Dartmoor to South Africa for a labor
battalion. The task is complicated by the discovery that gold is
aboard, and that highly-placed individuals from England have sent a
yacht to follow him and remove and kill one of the convicts aboard.
- Halfhyde Goes to War. St. Martin's, 1986. 183 p.
Halfhyde is captured in a train wreck by the Boers.
- Halfhyde on the Amazon.St. Martin's, 1988. 188 p.
Watkiss, presumed dead at the end of
Halfhyde on Zanatu, reemerges -- serving the Brazilian Navy as an
admiral. Naturally, his disposition gets him in trouble. Halfhyde
reunited with the TARONGA PARK, sails with Victoria Penn and
Inspector Todhunter to the Amazon River on an undercover naval
- Halfhyde and the Admiral. St. Martin's, 1990. 187 p.
Halfhyde is en route to Chile on the
TARONGA PARK with Canon Rampling and Watkiss's missionary sister as
passengers. The Admiralty then has Halfhyde take Todhunter along to
place Watkiss, now an admiral in the Chilean navy, into protective
custody, before the Chileans imprision Watkiss for being irritating.
As usual, complications ensue.
- Halfhyde and the Fleet Review. St. Martin's, 1991. 216 p.
Halfhyde is back in the Royal
Navy; albeit the Royal Navy Reserve. He is assigned to the Chilean
Navy as their C in C and is given the task of ensuring the safety of
a controversial Chilean (but English) admiral.
Commodore John Kemp series:
- The Convoy Commodore. St. Martin's, 1986. 186 p.
Introduces Mason Kemp, convoy
commodore, as he takes charge of a convoy bound for Halifax, NS
during the height of the Battle of the Atlantic.
Convoy North. St. Martin's, 1987. 177 p.
Mason Kemp leads a convoy on the Murmansk Run,
during which he encounters a German agent -- who was Kemp's friend
during peacetime days.
Convoy South. St. Martin's, 1988. 187 p.
Kemp convoys Australian troop-ships to America amid
intrigue, suspense and German pocket battleships.
Convoy East. St. Martin's, 1989. 192 p.
Mason Kemp, with a group of WRENS in his charge,
guides his convoy from England through the Mediterranean to
Alexandria, and thence to Ceylon in the Far East. This novel only
takes the convoy as far east as Malta.
Convoy of Fear. St. Martin's, 1990. 190 p.
Starting at Malta, Kemp takes his battered
Ceylon-bound convoy through the Suez -- where a cholera epidemic is
raging -- and then to its ultimate destination at Trincomalee.
Convoy Homeward. St. Martin's, 1992. 182 p.
On the way home to the UK, Kemp deals with
German prisoners, a troublesome crew and the mysterious presence of a
Tom Chatto series
- Apprentice to the Sea. St. Martin's, 1995. 183 p.
U.K. title: Tom Chatto, Apprentice. Set on the seas
of the nineteenth century. Tom Chatto is a young apprentice seaman
from west Ireland, hoping to make his living on the decks of a
square-rigged windjammer. He encounters heavy seas, treachery, and
twists of plot; a delight for sea lovers everywhere.
The Second Mate. St. Martin's, 1995. 186 p.
U.K. title: Tom Chatto, Second Mate. As the second officer of the steamship
ORTEGA bound from Liverpool to Chile about 1905, Chatto has no end of
problems. Fever breaks out among the passengers in the steerage,
preventing the ORTEGA from stopping at Madeira to repair a mechanical
problem. Then Tom must contend with a lusty grass widow on her way to
a new life in South America who has designs on our hero. With
difficulty Tom (who signed on the ORTEGA as much to see his ladylove,
daughter of a wealthy Argentine rancher, as to advance his career)
avoids her advances. To top it all Mr. Patience, the first mate of
the windjammer Tom sailed in during the first book, is aboard as a
passenger. Patience seems to have it in for Chatto, but the two
eventually team up to try to save a derelict windjammer encountered
off Cape Horn.
- The New Lieutenant. St. Martin's, 1997. 181 p.
U.K. title: Tom Chatto, RNR. After being attacked by the Dresden, Tom volunteers for the Royal Naval Reserve where he commands a decoy ship, luring German submarines to their doom. The vessel has the appearance of a merchant ship, but in fact is armed.
On Course for Danger. St. Martin's, 1959. 247 p.
A story for boys.
Storm South. G.G. Harapp, 1959. 288 p.
Bowering's Breakwater. G.G. Harapp, 1964. 204 p.
A British liner is crossing the Indian Ocean
when nuclear war breaks out. Seeking refuge in an island lagoon, she
falls into the hands of Chinese soldiers, and passengers and crew
become prey to despair and violence as they fight to avoid
transportation to China.
The Last Farewell. St. Martin's, 1991. 308 p.
The liner LAURENTIA leaves New York for England
in 1915 and is sunk by U-boats off the coast of Britain. Covers the
political intrigue ashore and the interaction of the various characters
McDaniel, J. T.
With Honour in Battle. Writers Club, 2001. 257 p.
At the end of 1944, Korvettenkapita¨n Hans Kruger, Germany's top U-Boat 'ace, ' is exhausted and in need of rest. Instead, he is given command of U-2317, an experimental U-boat with a revolutionary power plant that offers vastly increased underwater speed, but at the risk of blowing up the boat and everyone aboard. Sent to sea with orders to cause as much trouble as possible for the enemy and, perhaps, delay the war long enough for Germany to regain the advantage, Kruger must face a triumphant enemy, as well as jealous superiors and the intrusion of the war into his shattered personal life. Revised by the author in 2003.
McDermot, R. E.
Deadly Straits. the Author, 2011. 414 p.
Consultant and very part-time spook Tom Dugan is a happy man until his CIA handler comes calling. With a hijacking investigation pointing to his long-time client and best friend, London ship owner Alex Kairouz, Dugan is guilty by association and forced to go under cover in Alex's company to clear his own name. In attempting to prove Alex's innocence along with his own, Dugan manages to implicate them both more deeply, and when one of Alex's tankers is found adrift near Singapore with a dead crew, and another explodes in port, Dugan is framed for the attacks. When Alex is hospitalized, in critical condition after a suspicious suicide attempt, Dugan finds himself almost out of options.
MacDonald, John D. (John Dann) (1916-1986)
The Last One Left. Doubleday, 1967. 369 p.
Murder at sea. No survivors. No evidence. No reason not to be $800,000 richer. Crissy Harkinson knew all about the cash that had left the Gold Coast of Florida, headed for the Bahams on board a pleasure boat. It was Texas money...unrecorded, intended as a bribe. And then there was enough of it to change a dozen lives. Or end them.
Travis McGee series
Travis McGee lives on a custom-made 52-foot barge-type houseboat dubbed The Busted Flush (after the poker hand, in memory of the game enabling him to win it), docked at Slip F-18 at Bahia Mar Marina, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Only the books that seem to have a significant nautical
element are listed here.
- The Deep Blue Good-by. Fawcett, 1964. 252 p.
Book 1 - Begins and ends aboard the BUSTED FLUSH,
McGee's 52-foot houseboat. Quite a bit of on-the-water action. McGee
chases a bad guy through Florida in search of a fortune in jewels.
Bright Orange for the Shroud. Fawcett, 1965. 190 p.
Book 6 - Set in Florida, with McGee sailing
his houseboat to where the baddies live. Lots of nautical by-play,
including an on-the-water climax. McGee breaks up a vicious
marry-for-money con game.
Darker Than Amber. Fawcett, 1966. 190 p.
Book 7 - Set in Florida and the Caribbean. Not much
boating, although a good fraction takes place on a cruise ship. McGee
breaks up another con game, this one with murderous twist.
Pale Gray for Guilt. Lippincott, 1968. 240 p.
Book 9 - Set in Florida. Lots of floating in this
one, McGee goes to visit an old football friend, only to find that he
killed himself in an implausible manner. One of the best McGee
novels, some say.
A Tan and Sandy Silence. Lippincott, 1971. 261 p.
Book 13 - Set in Florida and the Caribbean as
McGee follows the trail of a missing lady friend to the island of
Grenada, where he discovers a stranger posing as his friend and an
intricate, murderous con game. Quite a bit of boating and a very
The Scarlet Ruse. Lippincott, 1973. 262 p.
Book 14 - The one about stamp collecting. Set in Florida, with plenty of boats (and a
description of a very dangerous way to end a water-skiing session).
- The Turquoise Lament. Lippincott, 1973. 287 p.
Book 15 - Set in Hawaii and Tahiti, with boat-related
flashbacks to Florida and Mexico. McGee tries to convince a friend's
daughter that her new husband isn't really trying to kill her.
The Dreadful Lemon Sky. Lippincott, 1974. 228 p.
Book 16 - Set in Florida. McGee stays on the
"FLUSH" for this one, but there's not a lot of boating. McGee agrees
to keep a package for a friend who then walks in front of a truck.
The Empty Copper Sea. Lippincott, 1978. 239 p.
Book 17 - Set in Florida, no boating to speak of. A
friend of McGee's is accused of losing his boss overboard. McGee
tries to clear his name.
Cinnamon Skin. Harper & Row, 1982. 275 p.
Book 20 - Set in Florida, Texas, Mexico, and elsewhere. Not
much boating. McGee's best friend Meyer has his boat blown up, and
the two of them set out to find the real reason.
The Lonely Silver Rain. Knopf, 1985. 231 p.
Book 21 - Set in Florida, with some boating. McGee
is asked to find a missing yacht, but then finds himself the target
of assassination attempts with no apparent reason. Prior to his death, MacDonald planned one more novel to complete this series.
McDonald, Roger (1941- )
Mr. Darwin's Shooter. Atlantic Monthly, 1998. 365 p.
The story of the young sailor who became
Charles Darwin's manservant during the voyage of HMS BEAGLE. In the
seven years they voyaged together he shot and collected many of the
specimens that his 'gent' used to arrive at his theory of natural
Macdonnell, J. E. (James Edmond) (1917-2002)
Fleet Destroyer. Book Depot, 1945. 102 p.
Collection of stories about life on the small ships. Revised in 1961.
Enemy in Sight. Horwitz, 1958. 176 p.
Lt. Peter Bentley is detached from his destroyer to
take command of a 4-man minisub, which is supposed to sneak into a
Japanese harbor and attack the cruisers therein. Revised in 1959.
Mutiny! Horwitz, 1958. 176 p.
Target - Battleship. Horwitz, 1959. 174 p.
The Gunner. Horwitz, 1959. 130 p.
The Recommend. Horwitz, 1960. 160 p.
Escort Ship. Horwitz, 1960. 161 p.
Eagles Over Taranto. Horwitz, 1961. 161 p.
The Lesson. Horwitz, 1961. 162 p.
Battle line. Horwitz, 1962. 162 p.
Broadsides! Horwitz, 1962. 162 p.
The Gun. Horwitz, 1963. 130 p.
Not Under Command. Horwitz, 1963. 130 p.
Headlong into Hell. Horwitz, 1968. 128 p.
To the Death. Horwitz, 1969. 130 p.
The Iron Claw. Horwitz, 1973. 128 p.
Centred around an Australian destroyer flotilla
whose leader is the WIND RODE - her Captain, Peter Bentley with his
brother-in-law Bob Randall as First Lieutenant, operating out of Port
Moresby in WW II. A lone Japanese cruiser is targeting lightly
protected convoys in what should be Allied controlled areas of the
Pacific and Bentley makes it his business to try and eliminate this
threat. Very Australian Navy - surprisingly (for less than 130 pages,
packed with non-stop action) very readable.
Full Fathom Five. Horwitz, 1968. 130 p.
The thread of this book starts with an action
between the destroyer JACKAL - Captain "Dutchy" Holland and an Italian
surface raider off the North West coast of Australia. Also a cruiser,
HMS SURREY - Captain Bentley Snr., in action on the Russian convoys. As
the threads are woven together Bentley Snr. joins his son Peter Bentley
and son-in-law, Bob Randall, in WIND RODE with some help from the
JACKAL, for an exciting sea battle against a Japanese invasion fleet.
Choke Point. Horwitz, 1985. 144 p.
Kenyon PT boat series:
- The Convert. Horwitz, 1966. 161 p.
Lt. Kenyon takes command of a PT Boat and must prove
himself to himself, his crew and the squadron.
Down the Throat. Horwitz, 1967. 128 p.
Lt. Kenyon sinks Japanese transport that turns
out to have been full of Allied prisoners and nurses. Of course it
was a set-up, but Kenyon must overcome his doubts and prove himself
to himself, his crew and the squadron.
South Pacific Fury. Horwitz, 1968. 126 p.
Kenyon and the 44-boat are sent to rescue a
coast watcher on a Japanese-held island in the Phillipines. In the
process they sink or cripple numerous major elements of the IJN which
are attempting an offensive.
Jim Brady series:
- "Gimme The Boats". Constable, 1953. 256 p.
A classic "destroyers at war" novel mainly of
the destroyer SCOURGE - Captain James Brookes. Although not primarily
about Jim Brady he features strongly in this story, as a petty
officer, the back-bone of the navy, whose contribution to the success
of the ships he serves in is already being noticed. Reprinted as "Jim Brady: Able Seaman".
Jim Brady: Leading Seaman. Constable, 1954. 269 p.
Commander Brady. Constable, 1956. 310 p.
Jim Brady is now in command of the destroyer
CIRCE at war with the Japanese. The problems of combat, grounding and
having to put divers down in shark infested water, coupled with his
doubts of the decisions he has to make form a basis for quite a good
Subsmash! Constable, 1960. 287 p.
McFee, William (1881-1966)
Casuals of the Sea : the voyage of a soul. Doubleday, Page, 1916. 469 p.
Command. Doubleday, Page, 1922. 337 p.
Adventures of a mate on a British freighter.
Sailors of Fortune. Doubleday, Doran, 1929. 415 p.
A collection of short stories and one novelette
dealing with the men, officers and soldiers of fortune who serve in
ocean liners. Contents: A son of the commodore.--The armoire.--The roving heart.--The wife of the dictator.--Captain Musker's vacation.--The vanished passenger.--The sword of Doctor Damocles.--At the Villa Agostino.--Relesse.--The garden of the Bey.--The Virgin of Loreto.--Os the Malecon.--Deckers on the coast.--The untarnished shield.
North of Suez. Doubleday, Doran, 1930. 309 p.
The adventures of Lt. Stephan Rumford, RNR as he
serves as the Chief Neutral Transport Officer at Port Said during WW I.
Rumford -- who believes all foreigners are "Dagos" -- executes his
responsiblity for passing neutral ships through the canal with
scrupulous honesty, to the discomfort of the captains attempting to carry
private cargos on government charters, and the disgust of his wife, who
cannot understand why he won't feather his nest with offered bribes.
Derelicts. Doubleday, Doran, 1938. 439 p.
Our hero, chief engineer of the SS SANSOVINA, meets a
wealthy passenger and spins her a yarn about WW I.
Ship to Shore. Random House, 1944. 407 p.
The captain of the luxury liner LEXINGTON during the
Depression deals with a fire at sea.
In the First Watch. Random House, 1946. 334 p.
Reminiscences of life at sea in British tramp steamers before and during the Great War.
Wolf's Lair. Grafton, 1990. 320 p.
A familiar story - In the closing hours of the Third
Reich a U-boat is loaded with a mysterious cargo and an even more
mysterious passenger. The captain's orders are to proceed (refuelling
on the way of course!) to Argentina and ignore all instructions to
surrender. A present day adventurer, ex-special forces - framed drug
smuggler, is recruited by the U-boat captain's son to solve the
whereabouts of the lost submarine after his father's Knight's Cross
(with oak leaves, swords and diamonds) is found clutched in the hand of
a dead Greek fisherman. Written in an offhand style making a fair light
read in spite of the spectre of the Fourth Reich.
Goodly Heritage. Ballentine, 1986. 532 p.
In the late 17th and early 18th centuries Abrial
Barker becomes buccaneer while Eliza Barker becomes renowned ship
The Last Voyage of the Unlucky Katie Marie. A. Whitman, 1969. 32 p.
After spending all his
money on a cargo to trade in India, the captain of the clipper UNLUCKY
KATIE MARIE is forced to use chunks of ice to ballast the ship.
MacGregor, James Murdoch (1925- )
When the Ship Sank. Doubleday, 1959. 236 p.
A motor passenger vessel -- modeled loosely on
the ATHENIA -- sails from Britain with a load of passengers escaping
WW II. Then, on the first day of the war, it gets torpedoed and sunk,
forcing all aboard to fight for survival. Book focuses on the fates of
six women on the ship, and their friends, families and associates also
Send Down a Dove. Coward-McCann, 1968. 351 p.
The submarine HMS SCORPION has its refit
cancelled, and in April 1945, is sent on a poorly thought-out mission
to patrol the Skaggarak with a captain that believes he will be passed
over for promotion and a disaffected crew.
Treachery and treason in Canada's sealing fleet. Windshift, 2010. 310 p.
Inspired by Victor Jacobson, a well known West Coast sealer based in Victoria B.C. This is an epic love story and rivalry between two 'sea dogs' played out on the sealing grounds of the Pacific North West. It is set in a period when Vancouver Island was not part of British Columbia, not part of Canada and not part of the USA.
The River Witch. Crown, 1955. 282 p.
The daughter of riverboat captain and her
adventures along the upper Mississippi. So notorious in her day, they
wrote songs about her.
Mack, William P. (1915-2003)
WWII Destroyer series:
- South to Java. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1987. 460 p.
Co-author William P. Mack Jr. Four-piper O'LEARY
starts the Pacific war in the Asiatic Fleet stationed in Manila. With
a suicidal captain, and a disgruntled Lieutenant Fraser, it must
weather the initial Japanese onslaught against the Philippines and
Dutch Indonesia. Nov. '41 - Mar '42.
Pursuit of the Seawolf. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1991. 417 p.
O'LEARY, following refit, is transferred
to the Atlantic, less Fraser, Arkwright, and the doctor. Meridith is
CO, a rich Texan, Tex Sorenson, becomes Exec. Takes O'LEARY through
the worst stages of the Battle of the Atlantic, until she is sunk in
a duel with a German Seawolf sub. May '42 - Nov '43.
Checkfire! Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1992. 411 p.
WW I vintage destroyer becomes amphibious transport
in the Pacific during WW II.
New Guinea: A Novel of War at Sea. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1993. 430 p.
Sorenson, now qualified for
command takes charge of USS CARSON, a SIMS class destroyer. With
other survivors of the O'LEARY, the current XO of the CARSON, and an
ex-naval aviator, Auerbach, he commands the ship during operations
off New Guinea, the Admiralties, and a fictional invasion of Morotai,
supporting McArthur's advance. Nov 1943 -- Sep 44
Straits of Messina. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1994. 355 p.
Introduces the BENSON-class DD LAWRENCE, with
a new cast of characters, as it provides escort services and offshore
support to the Anglo-American invasions of Sicily and Salerno. One or
two O'LEARY alumni are aboard in supporting roles, and the O'LEARY
makes a cameo appearance. Major new characters are "Horse" Phelps,
commodore of DesDiv 32, Pete Fannon, XO, and "Beetle" Bronson,
Normandy. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1995. 253 p.
Takes LAWRENCE from pre-D-Day build-up, through the
invasion of Southern France. Phelps is still commodore, but Fannon
is the LAWRENCE's captain, Bronson is XO. Book ends with "Beetle"
Bronson taking command of the GRAYSON, another destroyer in the
Matthew Christopher series:
Lieutenant Christopher : a novel of the Sea. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 1998. 316 p.
Tells the story of a young privateer who joins the Commercial Navy out of a sense of duty, and is recruited by Commodore John Paul Jones, after which he finds himself a participant in the famous raid on Whitehaven and the battle with HMS Seraphis.
Christopher and the Quasi-War with France. Nautical & Aviation Publishing Company of America, 2002. 217 p.
Tells the story of a shipbuilding familys problems when ship's captain Matthew Christopher and his crew aboard one of his family's newest ships, the Mary, are abruptly drafted to ward off the French while trading in the Caribbean.
Fergus Kilburnie series:
Captain Kilburnie. Naval Institute Press, 1999. 367 p.
This novel charts the rise through the ranks of Nelson's navy by Fergus Kilburnie, one of the first Scotsmen to serve as an officer. With the bold pluck of a natural-born leader, an innate affinity for the sea, and not a little help from friends in high places, the intrepid Kilburnie escapes one predicament after another to earn in just a few years a captain's stripes and the plum of the fleet, a three-masted frigate to fight France and Spain for command of the seas. In addition to French and Spanish foes, Kilburnie battles dangerous and unpredictable seas, envious crewmen, jealous fellow officers, and his own powder-keg emotions.
Commodore Kilburnie. Naval Institute Press, 2002. 209 p.
Scotsman Fergus Kilburnie returns to Nelson's Navy to do battle with England's enemies.
The Seas of Fortune. Berkley, 1983. 359 p.
Yankee captain and ship designer moves to
Charleston, begins developing revolutionary steamships, becomes a noted
blockade runner during the Civil War, and continues his struggle to get
steam accepted following that conflict.
McKenna, Richard (1913-1964)
The Sand Pebbles. Harper & Row, 1962. 597 p.
For years the U.S. Navy gunboat San Pablo has been patrolling a tributary of the Yangtze River in China protecting American missionaries and businessmen. Her crew has grown soft and lazy. Then the great Chinese Revolution of the 1920's breaks out. This is the story of the crew, particulary Jake Holman, as they face the precarious situation and make agonizing decisions.
The Sons of Martha, and Other Stories. Harper & Row, 1967. 221 p.
Posthumous collection of
McKenna's short stories, and the unfinished novel on which he was
working when he died. In addition to first three sections of the novel,
the collection consists of an autobiographical essay, Journey With a
Little Man; short stories King's Horseman, Fool's Errand, and A
Chronicle of a Five-Day Walking Tour Inland on the Southern Portion of
Casey Agonistes, and other science fiction and fantasy stories. Harper & Row, 1973. 150 p.
Posthumous collection of
McKenna's SF short stories: Casey Agonistes.--Hunter, come home.--The secret place.--Mine own ways.--Fiddler's green. The last work, perhaps McKenna's most ambitious story, tells of a group of men adrift in a small boat, without food and water, who mentally create a pocket universe into which they may escape.
The Left-Handed Monkey Wrench. Naval Institute Press, 1984. 335 p.
Collection of stories, essays and
part of the autobiographical novel he was working on at his death.
Includes: The Left-Handed Monkey Wrench; Church Party; King's Horsemen;
Life Aboard the USS Gold Star; The Fiction of History; The Wreck Of
Uncle Josephus; and The Sons of Martha.
MacKenzie, Compton (1883-1972)
Whisky Galore. Chattor & Windus, 1947. 264 p.
During World War II, a cargo vessel is wrecked off a remote Scottish island group — Great Todday and Little Todday — with fifty thousand cases of whisky aboard. Due to wartime rationing, the thirsty islanders had nearly run out of the "water of life" and see this as an unexpected godsend. They manage to salvage several hundred cases before the ship sinks. But they must thwart the efforts of the authorities to confiscate the liquor, particularly in the shape of a pompous English Home Guard Captain.
Mackintosh, Eliza (pseud. Josephine Tey) (1896-1952)
The Privateer. Macmillan, 1952. 279 p.
Famous mystery writer tries her hand at tall ships
book with this tale of Henry Morgan in Jamaica.
McLaughlin, W. R. D.
Antarctic Raider. Harrap, 1960. 253 p.
In the closing days of 1941 the German surface
raider VIKING leaves Hamburg on a secret mission to capture the Allied
whaling ships operating off Antarctica and return them to Germany with
the whale oil from which glycerine is to be extracted for munitions.
The mission is not as secret as the Germans hoped, the British have got
wind of it and dispatch the armed merchant cruiser QUEEN OF NEW
ZEALAND, under the command of Captain Carmichael, RN, to combat the
So Thin is the Line: A Further Novel of the War in the Antarctic. Harrap, 1963. 189 p.
A convincing WW II story of piracy, sabotage and murder on the high
seas when whaling was a reputable industry and an economic necessity.
As the sub-title hints, this is a continuation of the author's
previous novel and concerns the German commandos and officers in charge
of the two Norwegian whaleships, CACHELOT and ANTARCTICA, that the
VIKING captured and sent back to Germany, and the reactions of the
ships' crews. The two ships are in the charge of two very different
types of German officers.
MacLean, Alistair (1922-1987)
HMS Ulysses. Doubleday, 1955. 316 p.
British light cruiser escorts WW II Murmansk convoys.
South by Java Head. Doubleday, 1958. 319 p.
Motley group of suspicious characters trying to
escape from the Japanese advance on Singapore on a rotting tramp
Dark Crusader. Collins, 1961. 256 p.
Written under the pseudonym Ian Stuart. Published in the U.S. as "The Black Shrike". Couple on honeymoon voyage are
actually agents on trail of missing scientists, end up on Polynesian
island after series of disasters.
Fear is the Key. Doubleday, 1961. 264 p.
British adventurer kidnaps a girl at gunpoint and whisks her off down the Florida coast to the site of a mysterious salvage operation in the Gulf of Mexico. The search for treasure aboard a sunken DC-3 is mixed in
with murder, mystery, and revenge.
The Golden Rendezvous. Doubleday, 1962. 301 p.
Tramp steamer with luxury cabins for rich folks
get hijacked in gold theft with nuclear twist.
Ice Station Zebra. Doubleday, 1963. 276 p.
American nuclear sub is sent on a mission to
rescue the staff of an ice pack weather station -- or at least that is
how it seems.
When Eight Bells Toll. Doubleday, 1966. 288 p.
Secret agent pursuing modern pirates operating on the Irish Sea who hide their
prizes by sinking them.
Bear Island. Doubleday, 1971. 273 p.
Murder among movie crew trying to shoot film 300 miles
north of the Arctic Circle.
Seawitch. Doubleday, 1977. 240 p.
Industrial sabotage directed at a mobile offshore oil
San Andreas. Doubleday, 1984. 306 p.
WW II medical ship ferries wounded and onboard
saboteur across North Atlantic tracked by the Luftwaffe and U-boats.
The Lonely Sea. Doubleday, 1960. 221 p.
Collection of MacLean's nautical short stories
dating back to his first published effort (The Dileas, 1954) that
kicked off his writing career. The Dileas: Old man risks his fishing
boat and crew in terrifying storm to rescue his two sons.
McLean, Allan C.
Master of Morgana. Harcourt, Brace, 1959. 222 p.
16 yr. old Hebridean lad joins a salmon fishing
crew on the isle of Skye to find out who pushed his brother off of a
Sea Change. Simon & Schuster, 1992. 444 p.
In the 1860s our heroine, a New Orleans riverboat rat,
flees to England in search of her "place" in life. The search ends
aboard a fabulous yacht in the middle of the Atlantic. U.K. title: Sweet Exile.
Castaway Dreams. Amber Quill Press, 2012. 342 p.
After a lifetime in the Royal Navy, surgeon Alexander Murray knows one cannot exist without a brain, yet Daphne Farnham may be the exception. Her head contains nothing but rainbows, shoes, bonnets, pink frills and butterflies. Even her fluffy dog is useless. But the war with Napoleon is finally over and Alexander is sure he can put up with the cloth-headed Miss Farnham only for a couple of months until they reach England. But when their ship goes down, the dour doctor (after a fashion), the dizzy damsel (more or less) and the darling (and potentially delicious) doggy are about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime as unlikely companions, castaway on a desert island.
McLeod, Grover Stephen (1923- ?)
Sub Sailor. Manchester, 1964. 315 p.
Seaman Ham signs onto the submarine, USS Terrapin. After attacking Japanese ships, Ham
becomes a guerilla, when he is accidently left topside and forced to swim to Panay where he
joins a band of Moros. For young readers.
Teodoro. Manchester, 1969. 254 p.
USN submarines in the Pacific & Philippines guerrilla operations,
Submarine Stories. Manchester, 1977. 273 p.
Tales from a man who lived part of his life aboard American submarines in the
Pacific during the WW II.
The ghost of the Chimera and The Stowaway. Manchester, 1988. 143 p.
A bizarre, supposedly true, story of the ghost submarine, Chimera in WW II. The second story, the Stowaway, tells of two of the crewmen of Chimera, one of them a stowaway.
The Sultan's Gold : and other fleet type submarine stories. Manchester, 1988. 138 p.
MacMahan, H. Arthur
Overdue and Presumed Lost. AuthorHouse, 2000. 306 p.
The exploits of a lone WW II U.S. Navy submarine hell-bent on revenge after witnessing the deliberate sinking of an American hospital ship. USS Sailfin's relentless pursuit of the Japanese aircraft carrier whose pilots had been observed bombing the helpless mercy ship, is followed by a nighttime sea battle that "pulls out all the stops."
McMillin, Mark M. (1954- )
Captain Luke Ryan, Privateer Series:
- Gather the Shadowmen. Hephaestus, 2011. 300 p.
The year is 1778 and as the brutal war between the American Colonies and Great Britain drags on, a 25 year old Irishman named Luke Ryan is the master of the fastest ship on the water, the Black Prince, and runs a very profitable smuggling trade between Dunkirk and Dublin. He and his men are indifferent to the war until one day the British seize his ship and throw his men into Dublin's Black Dog. Ryan is ruined but concocts a bold plan to break his men out of jail and to retake his ship and when his plan succeeds, the Irishmen, now fugitives and with prices on their heads, set sail for France to offer their services to an American named Benjamin Franklin.
- Prince of the Atlantic. Hephaestus, 2011. 340 p.
The year is 1779 and the American Colonies are losing their life and death struggle for independence from Great Britain. Their rag-tag armies are in retreat. Their small navy has been swept from the seas. The fate of a fragile nation, the fate of the Revolution, hangs by a thread. In walks Ryan with his fast ships and iron men eager to fight the British for their own reasons. Before they are finished Ryan and his men will capture or destroy over 100 British ships, take hundreds of prisoners and invade English and Scottish towns – tying down precious military resources, causing financial panic in London and inflicting more damage on British maritime interests than perhaps any other naval force during the war.
- Napoleon's Gold. Hephaestus, 2011. 410 p.
The British Navy has finally caught the brilliant Captain Ryan, a man who terrorized English ships and towns for nearly two years. Ryan is tried for treason and piracy, convicted and sentenced to hang until King George grants mercy after hearing the pleas of Queen Marie Antoinette, an admirer of the young mariner, to spare the Irishman's life. After the war Ryan returns to France but he has no money, no ship or crew and has no prospects until one day he meets an ambitious entrepreneur named Joseph Bonaparte and his younger brother, a major in the French Army, named Napoleon.
McMurtry, Larry (1936- )
Paradise. Simon & Schuster, 2001. 159 p.
McMurtry boards a cruise ship wandering among the Marquesas with a motley complement of international "island junkies" with whom he finds little in common. McMurtry doesn't complain: instead, he passes the time remarking on the national and personal idiosyncrasies of his fellow passengers, and reflecting on closeted family skeletons, feelings of marginality and loneliness, mortality, and other matters while observing the passing scene.
McNamara, George (1991- )
George and The Tricky Fish. Nuventures, 1995. 1 v.
George loves to go sailing with his
family. While vacationing on the family's boat off Catalina Island,
George learns how to fish, and discovers that it is not always easy.
George and the Sailboat Race. Nuventures, 1995. 1 v.
George and Dad enter a sailboat race in
San Diego Harbor with George as skipper and Dad as crew. Childrens'
McNamara, Tom (1944- )
Henry Lunt Series:
- Henry Lunt & the Ranger. Nuventures, 1990. 348 p.
Rescued from British captivity by
John Paul Jones, Henry Lunt serves as a lieutentant aboard the USS
RANGER. Lunt is sent ashore in Belfast, to spy out the reason that
HMS DRAKE is avoiding combat with Jones, discovers the ship is
testing a new secret weapon (the carronade), and galls the Drake's
captain into trading broadsides with Jones.
Henry Lunt & the Spymaster. Nuventures, 1994. 429 p.
Following the return of the
DRAKE to France, Lunt serves with Franklin at the American
Delegation in Paris. He discovers that British spies have
infiltrated the delegation, and then is sent to England to
re-establish contact with the "Spymaster."
Henry Lunt at Flamborough Head. Nuventures, 1995. 1 v.
Lunt serves aboard the BON
HOMME RICHARD on the cruise that ends with the epic battle with
SERAPIS off Flamborough Head.
Skull and Cross Bones. Nuventures, 1996. 1 v.
Pirates in the Carribean.
MacNeil, Robert (1931- )
Burden of Desire. N.A. Talese/Doubleday, 1992. 466 p.
Tells the tale of the Halifax Explosion of 1917,
when a fully loaded ammunition ship blew up in Halifax harbor, and the
aftermath of the disaster.
Macomber, Robert N.
Honor (Peter Wake) series
- At the Edge of Honor. Pineapple Press, 2002. 280 p.
The Civil War is leaving its bloody trail across the nation as Peter Wake, born and bred in the North, joins the U.S. Navy and arrives in Florida for duty with the East Gulf Blockading Squadron. Assigned to the Rosalie, a tiny, armed sloop, Captain Wake commands a group of seasoned seamen on a series of voyages to seek and arrest Confederate blockade-runners and sympathizers, first in Florida's coastal waters, then in a dirty and corrupt Havana, and finally near the remote out-islands of the Bahamas.
Point of Honor. Pineapple Press, 2003. 327 p.
Wake, assisted by his indomitable Irish bosun, Sean Rork, commands a larger ship, the naval schooner St. James. Wake's remarkable ability to make things happen continues as he searches for army deserters in the Dry Tortugas, discovers an old nemesis during a stand off with the French Navy on the coast of Mexico, starts a drunken tavern riot in Key West, and confronts incompetent Federal army officers during an invasion of upper Florida. It all adds to his growing reputation in the fleet as a man who engenders loyalty among the sailors of the lower deck and grudging respect from his superiors.
Honorable Mention. Pineapple Press, 2004. 327 p.
Now in command of the steamer USS. Hunt, Lt. Peter Wake quickly plunges into action, chasing a strange vessel during a tropical storm off Cuba, dealing with a seductively dangerous woman during a mission in enemy territory ashore, confronting death to liberate an escaping slave ship, and coming face to face with the enemy's most powerful ocean warship in Havana's harbor.
A Dishonorable Few. Pineapple Press, 2005. 358 p.
The United States is painfully recovering from the Civil War, and Lt. Peter Wake heads to turbulent Central America to deal with a former American naval officer turned renegade mercenary. Wake discovers that no one trusts anyone in that deadly part of the world-with good reason. As the action unfolds in Colombia and Panama he realizes that his most dangerous adversary may be a man on his own ship, forcing him to make a decision that will lead to his court-martial in Washington when the mission has finally ended.
An Affair of Honor. Pineapple Press, 2006. 366 p.
Lieutenant Peter Wake is the executive officer of the USS Omaha on dreary patrol in the West Indies. Lonely for his family, he is looking forward to returning home to Pensacola in a few months and rekindling his troubled marriage with Linda. But fate has other plans for Wake. He runs afoul of the Royal Navy in Antigua and a beautiful French woman enters his life in Martinique. Then he's suddenly sent off on staff assignment to Europe, where he is soon immersed in the cynical swirl of Old World politics.
A Different Kind of Honor. Pineapple Press, 2007. 392 p.
Lt. Cmdr. Peter Wake, U.S.N., is on special assignment as the official American neutral naval observer to the War of the Pacific raging along the west coast of South America. Chile, having invaded Bolivia, has gone on to overrun Peru and controls the entire southeastern Pacific region. Washington, concerned over European involvement in the war and the French effort to build a canal through Panama, has sent Wake to observe local events. During Wake's dangerous mission--as naval observer, diplomat, and spy--he will witness history's first battle between ocean-going ironclads, ride the world's first deep-diving submarine, face his first machine guns in combat, advise the French trying to build the Panama Canal, and run for his life in the Catacombs of the Dead in Lima, Peru.
- The Honored Dead. Pineapple Press, 2009. 400 p.
Amidst exotic beauty and palace intrigue in 1883 French Indochina, U.S. naval intelligence officer Peter Wake is thrust into international events.
The Darkest Shade of Honor. Pineapple Press, 2010. 404 p.
Commander Peter Wake, of the U.S. Navy's Office of Naval Intelligence, at New York City in 1886, where he meets two intense young men who will dramatically influence his life: Theodore Roosevelt and José Martí. Presented with a secret coded message, he deciphers it for Roosevelt, and soon wishes he hadn't.
Returning to Washington, he is assigned to follow up on the secret message and uncover the extent of Cuban revolutionary activities between Florida and Cuba, along with investigating rumors of Spanish government agents operating in Key West.
Honor Bound. Pineapple Press, 2011. 366 p.
Cmdr. Peter Wake, U.S. naval intelligence agent, is in Florida culminating an espionage mission to learn Spain's naval readiness in Cuba. A woman from his past shows up, begging him to find her missing son, and Wake sets off across Florida, through the Bahamian islands, and deep into the dank jungles of Haiti. His band includes a Smithsonian ethnologist, a Bahamian Seminole sailor, Russian spies, and a Polish-Haitian soldier. Overcoming storms, mutiny, and shipwreck, Wake discovers the hidden lair of an anarchist group planning to wreak havoc around the world--unless he stops it.
Honorable Lies. Pineapple Press, 2012. 400 p.
Commander Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, has been ordered to salvage his failed espionage operation against the Spanish Navy in Havana. His network of spies in the city is compromised, international political tensions are escalating, the U.S. presidential election is looming, and Wake has five days to locate and rescue two of his network who are missing and assumed captured by the Spanish. Wake immediately realizes that his old nemesis Colonel Isidro Marrón, head of the dreaded Spanish counter-intelligence service, has set the perfect trap to kill him. Wake’s covert American team of experts in linguistics, chemistry, and lock picking, are soon hard pressed to just stay alive as they struggle to carry out his hastily conceived plan.
Honors Rendered. Pineapple Press, 2013. 357 p.
Commander Peter Wake, Office of Naval Intelligence, has been given an impossible assignment by President Grover Cleveland. Cleveland doesn't want a war to be the legacy of his first term in office. Wake is ordered to get to Samoa and clandestinely accomplish one of two things: somehow prevent war from breaking out, or win it decisively at the outset to prevent it from spreading around the globe. Enlisting the help of an unlikely team found along the way — a Hawaiian artillery officer, a renegade Methodist minister, and a beautiful shyster — Wake is led into situations he never anticipated, for the South Pacific is a very dangerous place indeed. And in the end, he faces a foe more daunting than any before in his life.
Maffeo, Steven E.
The Perfect Wreck - Old Ironsides and HMS Java: A Story of 1812. Fireship Press, 2011. 382 p.
HMS Java and the USS Constitution (the famous "Old Ironsides") face off in the War of 1812's most spectacular blue-water frigate action. Their separate stories begin in August 1812-one in England and the other in New England. Then, the tension and suspense rise, week-by-week, as the ships cruise the Atlantic, slowly and inevitably coming together for the final life-and-death climax.
Maitland, Alan (Editor)
Favourite Sea Stories from Seaside Al. Viking, 1996. 322 p.
In this delightful anthology
of maritime stories, we meet mermen and maids, Nova Scotia fishermen,
and Stevenson's bottle imp. We visit the isle of Inishmoor, the cliffs
of Connemara, and the Queen Charlotte Islands. We travel aboard a cargo
ship bound for Bombay, feel the ocean spray in our faces,and discover a
manuscript in a bottle.
Mallalieu, J. P. W. (Joseph Percival W.) (1908-1980)
Extraordinary Seaman. Macgibbon & Kee, 1957. 179 p.
This fictionalised account of the life and
career of Captain Lord Cochrane, tenth Earl of Dundonald, is divided
into ten chapters and covers the SPEEDY and the EL GAMO sea fight to
his service against Spain in the Chilean and Peruvian Wars of
Very Ordinary Seaman. Gollancz, 1944. 278 p.
Written during WW II; vividly describes in
fictionalised style the life on the lower deck, from joining the Royal
Navy and through to service aboard a destroyer on Murmansk convoy
protection duties. One of the best books of its genre.
Mandel, Paul and Sheila
The Black Ship. Random House, 1968. 371 p.
US PT boat stalks German destroyer run by the SS
in the English channel during WW II.
Mangione, Jerre Gerlando (1909-1998)
The Ship and the Flame. Current Books, 1948. 311 p.
A novel about some refugees, mostly political, who escape from Europe at the beginning of the Second World War. They are stopped by a U-boat, which arrests several but one, Joseph Renner, prefers to commit suicide. When the ship lands in Mexico, their visas are found to be fraudulent and they are denied entry. Stiano Argento, a liberal professor, more actively anti-fascist since Renner's death, attempts to raise money for the bond which will enable them to land, but fails. None seem to realize the seriousness of their plight as the Captain, a Nazi sympathizer, decides to go to Casablanca where they will face death or imprisonment.
The Britannia Contract. Carroll & Graf, 1993. 443 p.
Arabs hijack the royal yacht BRITANNIA with
Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip aboard during a royal visit to Saudi
Arabia. The ransom demands are outrageous, so special forces attempt a
48 South. Inner Circle, 1990. 285 p.
Seven ex-Royal Navy Fleet Air Arm officers are recruited,
with the British Governments approval, by Argentina to help train the
Special Air Attack Group. The Group is a top secret project conceived
as a means to eliminate the British Navy when it arrives in the South
Atlantic in response to the Argentines proposed invasion of the
Falkland Islands. In this innovative story, the Group, which
incidentally has a significant proportion of women pilots, will use
large numbers of locally produced, deadly, but low tech Corsair
fighter-bombers to swamp the fleets defence systems. Once they have
eliminated the small number of very high tech Harriers that make up the
Royal Navy's air defence they would use the same tactics to destroy
enough warships to force the British to relinquish their claim to the
Islands. Interestingly different!
Marlowe, Stephen (1928-2008)
The Memoirs of Christopher Columbus. Ballentine, 1987. 569 p.
Winner of the French Prix Gutenberg du Livre in 1988.
Marmur, Jacland (1901-1970)
Andromeda. Henry Holt, 1947. 279 p.
This is the story of the gunless cargo steamer, Andromeda, her Captain and crew of old timers who survived the last war and reminisce back to it, the hopeless crossing she is to make from Singapore to Frisco after war has been declared. They carry two passengers, Nancy Paget, who is young, lovely, arrogant, and Alexander Bane, an older man; and to Nancy the war first becomes a reality when the quartermaster is shot from the mast. She falls in love with John Flemming, the chief mate, and admits her involvement only when the Andromeda is spotted by a submarine, and her sinking seems a surety, though Bane, Japanese agent, attempts to save the ship and his own life.
The Ransom of Peter Drake. Saturday Evening Post, January 3, 1948.
Short story. The story about a radio operator
who panicked and did not get a distress call out when his ship sank,
causing the crew to spend weeks in a lifeboat before being rescued. He
signs on another ship as an ordinary seaman. Well you guessed it, the
ship starts sinking and he has a chance to redeem himself.
Marryat, Frederick (1792-1848)
The Naval Officer: or Scenes and Adventures in the Life of Frank Mildmay. Henry Colburn, 1829. 3 v.
Marryat's first novel. A delightful read. The adventures of Frank
Mildmay during his service in the Royal Navy during the late Napoleonic
Wars. Many of the incidents were based on Marryat's experiences during
his early service, so the novel was often confused with an
autobiography. However, to create a more interesting tale, Marryat made
Mildmay a rake, with the disconcerting -- for Marryat -- result that
everyone assumed that everything attributed to Mildmay was really the
good captain's character. Created the Hornblower-Aubrey mold so often
The King's Own. H. Colburn and R. Bentley, 1830. 3 v.
The hero, not knowing himself to be the grandson of
a noble admiral, rises in the navy through his own abilities, but is
murdered when on the brink of coming into his own. Has many stirring
sea episodes, based on Marryat's wide experience.
Newton Foster; or The Merchant Service. J. Cochrane, 1832. 3 v.
Master of a coastal brig,
pressed, against the rules, into the Royal Navy, our hero ends up in an
East Indaman and goes into action with the Bombay Marine, rising to the
command of an Indiaman, he rescues a noble French family, and marries
Peter Simple. Allen & Ticknor, 1833. 154 p.
Peter Simple, fool younger son of a younger son
is packed off to the Navy, where his mentor, the Corkman O'Brien,
Master's Mate of the DIOMEDE decides that Simple may not be a fool.
Based on the exploits of Lord Cochrane when he commanded frigates
Marryat served in.
Jacob Faithful; or The Story of a Waterman. Saunders and Otley, 1834. 3 v.
Faithful spends his
first decade on his father's Thames lighter and only steps foot on
shore when his mother spontaneously combusts and his father drowns
after leaping from the cabin in panic at the sight. That's a brave
enough start to a life and a novel. And there's more. The mother,
penniless in life, drew crowds as a pile of ashes and was eventually
bought by a surgeon. Proceeds from show and sale set our man up with a
47 pounds for a good start in life. With such a start, and despite
opportunities for education and clerking, Faithful continues on the
river, apprenticed first to a bargeman and then a wherryman. Finally,
over three quarters of the way through the book, our man is pressed
into the Royal navy. A picaresque account of river life, with plentiful
villains and much yarning from those who have seen service in the Navy
or the Greenland Fishery and a liberal splattering of nautical
metaphor. So if you can accept the doldrum pace of young Tom's laboured
puns, you have a fine tale of early 19th century London when the Thames
was a bustling thoroughfare. "Another winner for the Captain. I cannot
understand why it tends to be the moralistic children's books that
Mr. Midshipman Easy. Saunders and Otley, 1836. 3 v.
His best known work. The coming-of-age story
of a naive but intelligent and courageous midshipman during the Age of
Sail. Easy is said to have been inspired by the adventures of Cochrane
when he was a young midshipman.
The Pirate and The Three Cutters. Longman, Rees, Orme, Brown, Green, & Longman, 1836. 315 p.
Two short novels, sharing a brisk light-hearted style.
"The Pirate": Twin brothers are separated in infancy. One grows up a
member of a pirate gang, the other becomes a naval officer. The pirate
brother eschews the pirates' evil ways (as in THE PIRATES OF PENZANCE),
the brothers meet, are reconciled, defeat the pirate leader, and find
"The Three Cutters": A noble yachtsman foolishly tries to assist a
revenue cutter in seizing a smuggler. The gentlemanly smuggler hijacks
the yacht, assumes the identity of the yachtsman, lands his cargo, and
wins the heart of a fair (and rich) widow who is a guest on the yacht.
Must be one of the earliest fictional accounts of yachting.
Snarleyyow; or The Dog Fiend. H. Colburn, 1837. 3 v.
Smuggling and Jacobites in 1699,
"...in a purely literary sense [his] real masterpiece..." [The Oxford
The Phantom Ship. H. Colburn, 1839. 122 p.
The "Flying Dutchman."
Poor Jack. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1840. 384 p.
Set in and around the Greenwich naval pensioners' hospital.
Contains the oldest recorded lyrics to SPANISH LADIES.
Masterman Ready; or, The Wreck of the Pacific. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green & Longmans, 1841. 3 v.
A tale of shipwreck
and castaways for young readers.
Percival Keene. H. Colburn, 1842. 3 v.
Napoleonic naval warfare.
The Privateersman, or One Hundred Years Ago. Longman, Orme, Brown, Green, and Longmans, 1846. 2 v.
Mars, Alastair (1915-1985)
Arctic Submarine. Elek, 1955. 191 p.
Submarine at Bay. Elek, 1956. 164 p.
Atomic Submarine : a story of tomorrow. Elek, 1957. 192 p.
U.S. title: Fire in Anger.
Submarine Attack. Horwitz, 1959. 175 p.
Mediterranean Wolfpack. Horwitz, 1960. 159 p.
Deep Escape. Horwitz, 1960. 161 p.
Sea Change. Amber Quill, 2011. 241 p.
American privateer Captain David Fletcher needs a surgeon for his wounded brother. But when he captures a British merchantman in the Caribbean, what he gets is Charley Alcott, an apprentice physician barely old enough to shave. Needs take priority over skill, and Captain Fletcher whisks the prisoner aboard his ship with orders to do his best or he'll be walking the plank. Charley Alcott's medical skills are being put to the test in a life--or--death situation--Charley's life as well as the patient's. Even if Charley can save the captain's brother, there will still be hell to pay, and maybe a plank to walk, when Captain Fletcher learns Charley is really Charlotte Alcott.
Marshall, Edison (1894-1967)
Yankee Pasha : The adventures of Jason Starbuck. Farrar, Straus, 1947. 439 p.
Adirondack frontiersman of the 1790s who loses his family in a Indian
raid, finds a great love while working the coastal fisheries of New
England, and pursues her across the Atlantic and most of the known
world. Swashbuckling adventure on land and sea, with much of it laid
among the Barbary corsairs where Starbuck more or less goes native.
Probably the only historical novel ever to include both a ship duel
in the Bight of Benin and scenes at the court of the Cham of Tartary.
The Viking. Farrar, Straus & Young, 1951. 380 p.
The sea is secondary - maybe tertiary - to this story
of a young viking's rise to power. The movie of the same name with Kirk
Douglas and Tony Curtis was loosely based on this excellent novel.
American Captain. Farrar, Straus & Young, 1954. 407 p.
An epic tale, circa early 1800's, of Homer Whitman, Maine seaman, a captain
of an American merchantman captured by Barbary pirates, sold into
West with the Vikings. Doubleday, 1961. 444 p.
Lief Ericson goes exploring, discovers the
new world. Written before Viking discovery of America was generally
regarded as truth rather than myth.
Martel, Yann (1963- )
Life of Pi. Harcourt, 2001. 401 p.
Winner of the 2002 Man Booker Prize for Fiction Pi Patel is an unusual boy. The son of a zookeeper, he has an encyclopedic knowledge of animal behavior, a fervent love of stories, and practices not only his native Hinduism, but also Christianity and Islam. When Pi is sixteen, his family emigrates from India to North America aboard a Japanese cargo ship, along with their zoo animals bound for new homes. The ship sinks. Pi finds himself alone in a lifeboat, his only companions a hyena, an orangutan, a wounded zebra, and Richard Parker, a 450-pound Bengal tiger. Soon the tiger has dispatched all but Pi, whose fear, knowledge, and cunning allow him to coexist with Richard Parker for 227 days lost at sea. When they finally reach the coast of Mexico, Richard Parker flees to the jungle, never to be seen again. The Japanese authorities who interrogate Pi refuse to believe his story and press him to tell them "the truth." After hours of coercion, Pi tells a second story, a story much less fantastical, much more conventional-but is it more true?
Martin, Geroge R. R. (1948- )
Fevre Dream. Poseidon Press, 1982. 350 p.
Vampire novel which takes place on a Mississippi River sidewheeler. Struggling riverboat captain Abner Marsh receives an offer of partnership from a wealthy aristocrat,the hauntingly pale, steely-eyed Joshua York.
Martin, Larry Jay
Rush to Destiny. Bantam, 1992. 390 p.
Biographical novel of Edward F. Beale "naval hero,
Martin, William (1950- )
Annapolis. Warner, 1996. 685 p.
A Naval family's saga spanning two centuries. They are the Staffords, whose history is told by a descendant as he prepares a TV documentary. They take part in all the major historical events, from fighting Barbary Coast pirates to Confederate raiders, from the Battle of Midway to the Riverine Force in Vietnam.
Martinek, Frank V. (1895- )
Commander Don Winslow series:
- Don Winslow, USN, in Ceylon With Kwang, celebrated Chinese detective. Rosenow, 1934. 258 p.
Don Winslow USN. Whitman, 1935. 427 p.
Don Winslow of the Navy vs. the Scorpian Gang. Whitman, 1938. 1 v.
Don Winslow of the U.S. Navy and the Missing Admiral. Whitman, 1938. 32 p.
- Don Winslow of the Navy. Grosset & Dunlap, 1940. 214 p.
The famous adventures of Commander Don
Winslow, hero of countless American teenagers during WW II.
Don Winslow Face to Face With the Scorpion. Grosset & Dunlap, 1940. 215 p.
Don Winslow of the Navy and the Great War Plot. Whitman, 1940. 424 p.
Don Winslow Breaks the Spy Net. Grosset & Dunlap, 1941. 211 p.
Don Winslow Saves the Secret Formula. Grosset & Dunlap, 1941. 218 p.
Don Winslow. Navy Intelligence Ace. Whitman, 1942. 1 v.
Don Winslow of the Navy and the Secret Enemy Base. Whitman, 1943. 345 p.
Don Winslow and the Giant Girl Spy. Whitman, 1946. 348 p.
Don Winslow and the Scorpion's Stronghold. Whitman, 1956. 228 p.
Martyr, Weston (1885- )
The £200 Millionaire. W. Blackwood, 1931. 307 p.
Short stories: The £200 [200 pound]
Millionaire; The Lucky Bargees; The Ditch Crawlers. Idyllic
portraits of cruising in Europe before WWII. Excellent writing; perhaps
just the thing to get ones significant other interested in coastal
Masefield, John (1878-1967)
Salt-Water Ballads. G. Richards, 1902. 122 p.
A Mainsail Haul. Elkin Mathews, 1905. 128 p.
18 nautical short stories from the master, covering
this world and the next. Some spooky, some pirates, and a treasure
A Tarpaulin Muster. E.G. Richards, 1907. 227 p.
24 short stories.
Captain Margaret. G. Richards, 1908. 405 p.
In about 1685 Our hero sails from Salcombe in the
West Country to Virginia to pick up primo: some tobbacco trade and
secundo: some men with whom to attempt a colonial adventure in Darien.
On the way out of Salcombe Margaret picks up his former sweetheart and
her villainous husband, knowing the villain to be wanted for forgery.
The book deals mainly with the consequences of Margaret's reluctance to
tell the lady that her feller is a bad one. The Darien enterprise fails
magnificently as one of Margaret's privateer colleagues turns nasty,
looking for short term booty on a raid and eventually turning on his
leader. Simple enough adventure stuff although the sexual machinations
are quite advanced for a work of 1908. "Masefield is at his best with
the descriptions of the sea and ships from one who really knew them.
The eventual loss of London grime from the grooves of the main-brace
falls struck a chord with me." [SA]
Jim Davis. Wells Gardner, Darton & Co, 1911. 242 p.
Novel about British smuggling in the dying days of the
Napoleonic Wars as seen from the point of view of a young boy who gets
caught up in smugglers' activities. Told first person years after the
The Bird of Dawning : or, The fortune of the sea. Macmillan, 1933. 230 p.
"Cruiser" Tewksbury is a young junior mate in
the tea clipper REDGAUNTLET, whose ambitious captain is in a very nervy
state from overwork. He also dislikes Cruiser and despises him for
having served in steamships. Several days out during the "race" to
England, the REDGAUNTLET is run down by another ship and sunk. Cruiser
and 5-6 of the crew find themselves in an open boat with scant food and
water. A couple of the men are sea lawyers and general no-goods, and
things look bad until the boat comes upon the clipper BIRD OF DAWNING
mysteriously abandoned in mid-ocean. He attempts to sail her back home
to England with his short-handed crew. There's a slight "Boys Own
Stories" feel to the novel, but the characterizations are good and the
various ships are described most lovingly.
The Taking of the Gry. Macmillan, 1934. 193 p.
During a revolution in the tiny Latin
American country of Santa Ana, two foolhardy, desperate try to "kidnap"
an ammuntion ship, the GRY, from a harbor held by their enemies. An
entertaining yarn by a good storyteller.
Victorious Troy, or The Hurrying Angel. Macmillan, 1935. 308 p.
The square-rigger THE
HURRYING ANGEL is tested by a storm in the southern ocean.
The Sea Poems. Heinemann, 1978. 116 p.
Mason, F. van Wyck (1901-1978)
Captain Nemesis. Putnam's, 1931. 295 p.
In 1772, Lieutenant Nathaniel Andrews, a colonial
in the Royal Navy, is framed and sentenced to be transported to
Australia. He escapes, establishes himself as a pirate, and plans his
Three Harbours. Lippincott, 1938. 694 p.
Revolutionary War naval action.
Stars on the Sea. Lippincott, 1940. 720 p.
Early American revolutionary war adventure.
Rivers of Glory. Lippincott, 1942. 572 p.
Novel about a US Navy spy during Siege of Savannah
during the Revolutionary War.
Eagle in the Sky. Lippincott, 1948. 500 p.
Adventures of three doctors in the American
Revolution, with a focus on Peter Burnham, who serves as surgeon on an
The Cutlass Empire. Doubleday, 1949. 396 p.
Fictionalized biography of Henry Morgan
Proud New Flags. Lippincott, 1951. 493 p.
American Civil War (Confederate) naval adventure. Detailed picture of the efforts of the South to build a navy, efforts which were blocked by bungling self-seekers, incompetent politicians and the struggle for separate commands. Brunton, Scottish shipbuilder, Sam Seymour of the U.S.N. who resigns his commission to serve his native South, his austere elder brother, an engineer, who goes to Richmond to make his contribution,- these three live in the intricate story of the Navy's birth and death.
Golden Admiral. Doubleday, 1953. 340 p.
Fictionalized adventures of Sir Francis Drake and his defeat of the Spanish Armada.
Our Valiant Few. Little, Brown, 1956. 436 p.
The Confederate Navy's attempts to break the
blockade of Charleston during the American Civil War using torpedo
boats and primitive submarines. Lots of action on shore, but minimal
Blue Hurricane. Lippincott, 1957. 307 p.
Union Navy in action against the Confederacy on the
western rivers -- sequel to PROUD NEW FLAGS. Since this book ends well
before Vicksburg, there may be more books in the series. Either that or
Mason ended the series with this one.
The Manila Galleon. Little, Brown, 1961. 495 p.
Commodore George Anson, "Father of the Modern Royal Navy," sets out on his epic voyage to capture for England a fabulous Spanish treasure ship - the Manila galleon, "Prize of all the Oceans."
The Sea 'Venture. Doubleday, 1961. 349 p.
Enroute to Jamestown, a group of settlers, including a number of social outcasts, are shipwrecked at Bermuda. Based on a true historical incident.
Harpoon in Eden. Doubleday, 1969. 430 p.
The adventures and exploits of the Paddock family of Nantucket during the great days of sperm whaling in the mid-nineteenth century.
Log Cabin Nobel. Doubleday, 1973. 377 p.
U.K. title: Stand Before Kings. Despite the title log cabins do not feature much in this story of swashbuckling on the high seas in the dying days of the Spanish Main and hopes of salvaging the Nuestra Senora de la Concepcion and her treasure.
Armored Giants: a novel of the Civil War. Little, Brown, 1980. 339 p.
The battle between the Monitor and Merrimack.
Masselink, Ben (1919-2000)
The Danger Islands. Little, Brown, 1964. 177 p.
An ex-GI sailing along near Tahiti falls victim
to bad guys in a converted PT boat who steal his boat and papers. He
chases them all over the Pacific.
Masters, John (1914-1983)
The Rock. Putnam, 1970. 383 p.
This is the history of the great fortress-rock, Gibraltar and the surrounding seas wrapped up in one epic novel.
Maiden Voyage. Sphere, 1982. 562 p.
The fate of a shipping company depends upon the
successful maiden voyage of their new liner ARCADIA, the greatest liner
of them all. Flappers, affairs, elegant balls, intrigue and treachery
in this 1920s tale.
The Gold of Malabar. Scribner, 1967. 213 p.
Matteson, Stefanie (1946- )
Murder Under the Palms. Berkley Prime Crime, 1997. 245 p.
Former movie star Charlotte Graham has turned sleuthing into a second career. An extended vacation to Florida turns into a trip down memory lane when Charlotte attends a glamorous charity ball inspired by the opulent French passenger ship, Normandie. The ship holds a special place in Charlotte's heart. Not long before it was destroyed by fire, she had enjoyed a tender shipboard romance on the famed luxury liner. The highlight of Charlotte's evening is her reunion with famed band leader and balladeer Eddie Norwood--the man she fell in love with during her 1939 voyage. The evening seems perfect until a world-renowned jewelry designer is found stabbed to death at the party. Charlotte knows that almost any guest could be the murderer. And she is determined to find the killer--before he or she claims another victim.
Matthiessen, Peter (1927- )
Raditzer. Viking, 1961. 152 p.
An almost allegorical tale of a restless, artistically
minded son of wealth - Charlie Stark - who goes to sea "unable to answer his own questions, and nursing
ill-defined resentments" and finds himself irresistibly drawn to Raditzer, a
weasel of a man who inspires distaste in everyone including Stark. Eventually, Stark's revulsion turns into
responsibility as he see Raditzer as his shadow self.
Far Tortuga. Random House, 1975. 408 p.
The western Caribbean Sea and its sailors depicted by
award-winning novelist. An outstanding book.
Rub-a-Dub-Dub. Crown, 1968. 217 p.
Take McHale's Navy out of uniform and plop them into the Merchant Marines and you'll have the slapstick effect intended. The novel is set aboard a Liberty ship during a ninety day round-trip voyage from New Orleans to New York and across the North Atlantic in convoy to Liverpool.
Maynard, Kenneth ( -1987)
- Lieutenant Lamb. St. Martin's, 1984. 191 p.
It's 1798. After six years in the Royal Navy,
and four months after receiving his lieutenant's commission, Lamb
joins HMS STURDY, to serve as junior lieutenant under a whiskey
soaked captain and a vicious first officer. In additon, he battles
ruthless privateers and the hated French, finding time along the way
to sow some wild oats in exotic ports, eventually having a run-in
with the mighty French frigate TROMPEUR.
First Lieutenant. St. Martin's, 1985. 214 p.
Lamb serves as First Lieutenant of the frigate
HMS ADROIT in the West Indies.
Lamb In Command. St. Martin's, 1986. 199 p.
Lamb gains his first command, the mail packet
HERON, seeing service in the Caribbean.
Lamb's Mixed Fortunes. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987. 193 p.
Deals with the British invasion of Egypt. Lamb's
ship, the ADROIT strikes to the French. Maynard died after this book was written, so several cliffhangers are unresolved.
Mays, Victor (1927- )
Action Starboard. Houghton Mifflin, 1956. 280 p.
War of 1812 adventure for young readers.
Dead Reckoning. Houghton Mifflin, 1967. 188 p.
A teenager stumbles upon a spy ring, discovers what
his father has been doing for the navy, and gets the FBI and Coast
Guard to help out.
Meacham, Ellis K.
Percival Merewether series
Of the Honorable East India Company's
Bombay Marine during the Napoleonic Wars. These stories take place
within the world of Hornblower. The three books form a coherent whole,
with all questions having answers by the end of the third book.
The East Indiaman. Little, Brown, 1968. 337 p.
Percival Merewether is placed in command of
HEIC RAPID, and rescues the Governor Designate of Madras from a
pirate, puts down a mutiny of sepoys in Vellore, and maneuvers the
Chinese government into allowing HEIC ships to sail from Canton.
On the Company's Service. Little, Brown, 1971. 343 p.
1806-07, Merewether commands HEICS
RAPID, serves as HEIC Commodore.
For King and Company. Little, Brown, 1976. 336 p.
1807-08, Merewether becomes senior captain
of Bombay Marine, commands HEICS PITT.
The Dignity of Danger : a novel of the Pacific War. Burning Gate, 1993. 168 p.
Covers both sides of the Japanese kamikaze
attacks in Pacific. One minute you're in a Japanese airplane, looking
for a target, and the next you're with a gunner aboard ship. Author was
Meader, Stephen Warren (1892-1977)
The Black Buccaneer. Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920. 281 p.
While guarding sheep on an island off the coast of Maine, Jeremy is kidnapped by Captain Stede Bonnet and other pirates who had been using the island as a base. Jeremy survives a perilous trip to the West Indies but is very lonesome until the son of a prominent man in the Carolinas is also captured. Together the boys try to escape and return home.
Away to Sea. Harcourt, Brace, 1931. 233 p.
One spring day back in 1821, Jim Slater stole out of his father's farmhouse before daybreak and ran away to Providence to become a sailor. He signed up with the first ship he could find, and it was only when they were six days out at sea that he discovered he was one of the crew of a slave ship bound for Africa for its cargo.
Clear for Action! Harcourt, Brace, 1940. 323 p.
Story of a young man impressed into service on a
British warship slightly before the start of the war of 1812.
Shadow in the Pines. Harcourt, Brace, 1942. 281 p.
Nazi spies on the New Jersey shore. Includes
an Interesting sequence showing a US Coast Guard station during
wartime, and a ship battle in Chesapeake Bay!
The Sea Snake. Harcourt, Brace, 1943. 255 p.
A teenager is abducted aboard a U-boat, escapes, and
helps a USAAF bomber crew find and destroy it in the Caribbean.
Whaler 'Round the Horn. Harcourt, Brace, 1950. 244 p.
Life on whaling ship and in Hawaii.
Guns for the Saratoga. Harcourt, Brace, 1955. 207 p.
A young man whose father owns a foundry and
make guns for a new warship, the SARATOGA, experiences adventures
aboard her as a midshipman.
The Commodore's Cup. Harcourt, Brace, 1958. 192 p.
Sailboat racing in Chesapeake Bay.
The Voyage of the Javelin. Harcourt, Brace, 1959. 189 p.
A young man on sails in a clipper ship
from the East coast to San Francisco around the horn during the
California gold rush days.
Phantom of the Blockade. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1962. 190 p.
Story of a young man on a blockade runner
during the American civil war.
A Blow for Liberty. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965. 187 p.
Sixteen-year-old Jed Starbuck, a young Nantucketer, had lost his father when their whaler went down in a storm off Cape May, at the southern tip of New Jersey. The orphaned boy had been indentured to a Quaker farmer who treated him with strict fairness. When the Revolutionary War broke out, Jed had a burning ambition to do his part, but what chance did a "bound" boy have to strike a blow for liberty?
The Cape May Packet. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1969. 218 p.
During the War of 1812 a young boy sails with his father on dangerous missions in their boat which has been converted from a pilot and packet boat to a privateer.
Point of Honor. Kensington, 1997. 307 p.
Engineering Officer Lt. Blake leads a small
boarding party from his destroyer to a derelict freighter, where they
are stranded due to worsening weather and an accident on the destroyer.
They find smashed radios, 30 tons of cocaine, $350 million in cash, and
several bodies, all with broken necks and their tongues cut out. If any
of the party are to survive, they must get the ship underway and ride
out a tropical cyclone despite being shorthanded and without a
qualified deck officer. Unfortunately, it soon becomes apparent that a
ruthless killer is still aboard, and of course, the owners of the drugs
and cash will certainly want it back when the weather clears. Our hero
does just about everything right, but he's pretty much out of his
Melchior, Ib (1917- )
V-3. Dodd, Mead, 1985. 310 p.
V-3 is a poisonous exsiccating gas developed by Hitler to succeed the V-1 and V-2 rockets. In the present, aging but still fanatic Nazis plan to unleash the gas and kill millions. Army intelligence reactivates chemist Einar Munk who, as a wartime operative for the OSS, first learned of the gas's manufacture. His orders: find it and contain it. In this desperate mission, Einar is aided by his wife, Birte. Einar discovers the V-3 in a sunken U-boat, the canisters dangerously near final corrosion and each of them booby-trapped.
The Mermaid and the Major: The True Story of the Invention of the
Submarine. H.N. Abrams, 1991. 63 p.
Translation of: El verdadero inventor del buque submarino por Annibal Gobelet, su fiel criado. Illustrated by the author. For young readers.
Melville, Herman (1819-1891)
Typee: a Peep at Polynesian Life during a four months' residence in a valley of the Marquesas. Wiley & Putnam, 1846. 278 p.
Omoo: a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas. Harper, 1847. 389 p.
Redburn: his first voyage. Being the sailor-boy confessions and reminiscences of the son-of-a-gentleman, in the merchant service. Harper, 1849. 390 p.
Mardi: and a Voyage Hither. Haper, 1849. 2 v.
White-Jacket, or, the World in a Man-of-War. Harper, 1850. 465 p.
An allegorical novel
about the harsh life of a seaman onboard a nineteenth-century U. S.
Moby Dick, or The Whale. Harper, 1851. 634 p.
"From Hell's heart I stab at thee."
Israel Potter, His Forty Years of Exile. Putnam, 1855. 276 p.
"Billy Budd, Foretopman" in Billy Budd, and other prose pieces. Constable, 1924. 399 p.
Written in 1891.
Melville-Ross, Antony (1920-1993)
HMS Trigger. Ballentine, 1982. 281 p.
U.K. title: Trigger. Captain Peter Harding, operating the
submarine HMS TRIGGER in the Mediterranean in 1943.
Talon. Collins, 1983. 317 p.
Harding and his former first lieutenant, John Gascoigne
survive an accidental sinking of a Royal Navy submarine. Harding
transfers to the Fleet Air Arm, and faces the Japanese as a fighter
pilot. Gascoigne takes command of HMS TALON and attempts to match
Harding's record in war patrols against the Japanese in the last year
of the war.
Shadow. Collins, 1984. 219 p.
Peter Harding joins his first submarine, HMS SHADOW, in
1940 as navigation officer, and rises the position of executive officer
during two years of warfare. Many of the other characters in TALON and
HMS TRIGGER are also in this book.
Command. Collins, 1985. 256 p.
WWII submarine action.
Fragments of the Ark. Pocket Books, 1994. 342 p.
South Carolina Sea Island slave Peter Mango
leads a group of runaway slaves in an attempt to steal the
Confederate gunboat SWANEE at Charleston and deliver her to the Union
Navy. Inspired by an actual incident.
Metcalfe, William Charles
Rogues' Island; or the Pirate's Lair. J. F. Shaw, 1893. 378 p.
14-year-old Charlie Currie
joins the Merchant Navy as an apprentice on a sailing vessel. In the
South China Sea the ship is run down in fog by a steamer, and a
Chinese pirate junk rescues a group of survivors. In their ultimate
escape (which includes the rescue of a beautiful English girl captive)
our hero takes a minor part, being told to keep out of the way during
the fighting, but he saves the junk they steal by jamming his body in a
shot hole below the water line. Ah Sing, cousin to Fong Tah, the pirate
chief, plays a key role. For a combination of altruistic and financial
reasons he helps the escape, duelling to the death with Fong Tah in the
process. Ah Sing's reward is to be made steward on an English ship.
Politically incorrect nowadays, but contains admiring comments on junk
Michelsen, G. F.
Mettle. University Press of New England, 2007. 255 p.
Lorenzo Fuller is a Cape Cod-based seaman who has assumed command of a huge freighter carrying grain to ports along the east coast of Africa. Two complications surface immediately: the resistance of the crew to Lorenzo's "hard ass" management style and the fact that Lorenzo's son Dowie is a crew member, despite the owners' promise that they would never be assigned the same ship. Their relationship has deteriorated since Lorenzo's divorce from Dowie's mother.
Michener, James (1907-1997)
Tales of the South Pacific. Macmillan, 1947. 326 p.
Island life in WW II US navy.
Return to Paradise. Random House, 1951. 437 p.
Sequel to Tales of the South Pacific.
The Bridges of Toko-Ri. Random House, 1953. 146 p.
A US carrier task force operates off the coast of Korea during the "Police Action." The courage and professionalism of the flyers and sailors is contrasted with the uncertain, perhaps pointless, war.
Chesapeake. Random House, 1978. 865 p.
The four-hundred-year saga of America's Eastern Shore, from its Native American roots to the present. The central scene of Michener's historical novel is that section of Maryland's Eastern shore, hardly more than 10 miles square. To this point come the founders of families that will dominate the story. A panoramic narrative of human and animal life on Maryland's Eastern Shore focuses on a ten-square-mile area at the mouth of the Choptank River and the families that settle there, from 1583 to the present.
Caribbean. Random House, 1989. 672 p.
A fictional account of the history of the Caribbean area includes the racial, political, and economic struggles from the arrival of Columbus and Spanish control to present day problems.
Miers, Earl Schenck (1910-1972)
Pirate Chase. Colonial Williamsburg, 1965. 129 p.
Williamsberg youth gets captured by Blackbeard's
ship, and is forced to serve with them or die. After escaping, he
returns home, helps Virginia's Governor Spotswood to eliminate
Blackbeard, and joins the expedition sent to fight the pirates.
Miéville, China (1972- )
The Scar. DelRey, 2002. 638 p.
Fantasy novel about Armada, a huge floating city, that is sailing to the edge of the world.
Miller, Merle (1919-1986)
Island 49. T.Y. Crowell, 1945. 186 p.
WW II Pacific Theater action.
Miller, Sharon B.
Danger Aboard the Evening Star. Moody, 1974. 160 p.
Jeremy Cuffe signs on as a ship's
boy on a whaler owned by one of his grandfather's friends to reach his
father, who is a missionary in New Zealand. Along the way he encounters
numerous adventures and learns to love the life of a whaler. For young
One Man Drowning. New Generation, 2009. 472 p.
Running away in 1762 from a dull life in fashionable Georgian Bath, Jesse Sunderland joins an ocean-going merchant ship. Just nineteen years old, naïve and keen for adventure in the expanding world where England rules the seas and dominates the colonies, he has to not only deal with the harshness of this life at sea but coming to terms with himself and essentially his homosexuality, a hanging offence by law in these times.
Steady, Boys, Steady. P. Davies, 1960. 205 p.
Humorous account of a serious war fought by
characters from all walks of life who find themselves in WW II special
forces, the Royal Navy Commando. Rigorously trained in the Scottish
Highlands, they survive to die on the beaches of Dieppe, North Africa,
Sicily and Reggio.
Mobley, C. A.
Jerusha Bailey series:
- Rites of War. Jove, 1998. 342 p.
A German U-boat destroys a North Korean submarine then attacks a U.S. command ship. The plan works; America and North Korea hold each other accountable. As warships converge across the globe, the command of the "USS Ramage" falls into the hands of Jerusha Bailey. Bailey, however, senses a hidden strategy behind the attacks. And now, she alone must go one-on-one with the brilliant commander of a German U-boat and prevent full-scale war.
- Rules of Command. Berkeley, 1998. 347 p.
When an American cruiser accidentally shoots down a commercial aircraft--and kills the president of Panama--an interim government seizes control of the Panama Canal. Bailey is dispatched on a peacemaking mission that could either defuse an international crisis or add fuel to the fires of an all-out war.
- Code of Conflict. Berkeley, 1999. 344 p.
National Security Agent Jerusha Bailey is called in to investigate the trouble that's brewing on the Bengali-India border-- and to see how it ties in to the mysterious missile attack on the USS Mahan. And as tensions build across the globe, her nemesis at the esteemed Naval War College is busy wargaming, frantically trying to predict the next world war. But the more questions Bailey asks, the fewer answers he gets. She's beginning to suspect that something sinister is at hand.
Mohrt, Michel (1914-2011)
Mariners' Prison. Viking, 1963. 286 p.
Translation of La Prison maritime. Sea-going adventure based on an actual plot, when
nationalists of Brittany wanted to separate from France and join
Ireland and Wales. The book won the Grand Prix du Roman of the French
Mokin, Arthur (1923- )
Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack. Presidio, 1991. 274 p.
The mood in Washington in
1861 is bleak. The army is stalled, and rumors abound about the
Confederate navy's steel-shelled war machine, when Secretary of the
Navy Wells calls upon Captain John Erickson and his bizzare
experimental craft, the MONITOR.
Monsarrat, Nicholas (1910-1979)
Leave Cancelled. Knopf, 1945. 124 p.
A navy officer and his young wife concentrate their passionate love into twenty-four hours, knowing that it might be their last chance.
HMS Marlborough Will Enter Harbor. Ballentine, 1947. 125 p.
An old sloop, homeward bound, is torpedoed, leaving her guns out of action, more than three-quarters of her crew dead, and radio contact impossible. But her valiant captain steadfastly refuses to surrender his ship.
The Cruel Sea. Knopf, 1951. 509 p.
WW II convoy escort, and his best by far.
The Ship That Died of Shame and Other Stories. W. Slone, 1959. 259 p.
Contents: The ship that died of shame -- Licenced to kill -- The man who wanted a mark nine -- The Thousand Islands snatch -- I was there -- The dinner party -- Oh to be in England!-- The list -- The reconciliation -- Up the garden path.
The Nylon Pirates. W. Slone, 1960. 375 p.
A group of con-artists join the passengers of a
"millionaire's cruise" as part of their plan to separate the other
passengers from their cash and valuables over the three-month voyage.
A Fair Day's Work. W. Slone, 1964. 191 p.
A cruise aboard modern ocean liner with labor
problems. Liverpool Docks, on Merseyside - a senseless strike threatens to delay the departure of an ocean liner. As the last of the passengers come aboard, including the shipping line's chairman, the drama increases with the threatened walk-out of the stewards. Below deck, agitation and unrest mount as the tide water rises and the vital hour for sailing approaches.
Monsarrat at Sea. Cassell, 1975. 342 p.
Collection of Monsarrat's nautical writing, both
fiction and non-fiction: The Longest Love, The Longest Hate; Three
Corvettes; I Was There; A Ship to Remember; HMS Marlborough Will Enter
Harbour; The Ship that Died of Shame.
The Master Mariner: Running Proud. Cassell, 1978. 524 p.
Book one of a planned series. "Damned to immortality by a
spectacular act of cowardice during battle with the Spanish Armada,
young Matthew Lawe is sentenced to an eternity at sea....he rides...
history with Henry Hudson, Henry Morgan, Lord Nelson, and others..."
The Master Mariner: Darken Ship; the unfinished novel. Cassell, 1980. 181 p.
White Wings. Dutton, 1997. 467 p.
The story of a Herreshoff Buzzard's Bay 15 and the
three generations of women associated with it. The central character is a sailboat which over the years has been the setting of blissful outings, clandestine loves and battles against the sea. The story of the boat and of its lady owner is pieced together by a teacher who is restoring it. The author apparently
really did his homework and knew the boat model intimately.
Moore, Donald (1923- )
All of One Company. Hodder & Stoughton, 1957. 349 p.
U.S. title: Scramble Six Hurricanes. Northern
convoy November 1943 - Royal Navy escort group sets out for Russia
escorting Convoy PQ 63. Focusing mainly on the Woolworth carrier HMS
VISCOUNT with her Hurricanes, Swordfish and escorts; day by day -m
watch by watch - we follow the convoy's progress; from the viewpoint of
the convoy - there are no insights into the higher command on either
the Allied or German side. The escort groups air-ops and anti-sub
tactics are particularly well done.
Moore, Frank Frankfort (1855-1931)
Under Hatches: or, Ned Woodthorpe's Adventures. Blackie & Son, 1889. 352 p.
Set in 1830.
Sixteen-year old Ned, washed out to sea while saving a life, is picked
up by a ship taking convicts to Botany Bay. In the Indian Ocean the
crew and convicts mutiny, setting the officers and Ned afloat in a
cutter, in which they sail to a desert island. The mutineers arrive two
days later and swarm ashore. Ned and the the officers fight to
recapture the ship.
Moore, Frederick F. (1877-1967)
The Devil's Admiral. Doubleday & Page, 1913. 295 p.
Tale of a cargo ship sailing out of Manila
into the China Sea with pirates, murder and villainy afoot.
Moore, Ruth (1903-1989)
Speak to the Winds. William Morrow, 1956. 309 p.
A feud engulfs the entire population of a small island off the coast of Maine.
Moorhouse, Geoffrey (1931- )
The Boat and the Town. Little, Brown, 1979. 275 p.
Chronicles the lives of a fishing boat crew
and their families in a small New England fishing village over the
course of one year. Nicely written, and captures well the way a small
crew get on (or don't get on) together in a small boat.
The Ruby Fleet. Hale, 1976. 221 p.
Potboiler, where British skipper carries off an
Indian wife, gaining the emnity of both British and Indian society. Set
in the 1800s.
Morgan, Charles (1894-1958)
The Gunroom. A & C Black, 1919. 348 p.
Story of the brutal life of a
midshipman in a pre-WW I Royal Navy ship. Allegedly suppressed by the
Navy. A contemporary review says it was wriiten with the purpose of
showing a national abuse.
Tiger Cruise. Forge, 2000. 285 p.
"The Strait of Malacca lies between Malaysia and Indonesia. It's the busiest shipping lane in the world. And for as long as anyone can remember it's been a nest of pirates. In the Age of Sail they'd swarm over the side, armed with knives and cutlasses. These days they're using modern methods. One of them, Michael Prasetyo, a man with a business degree from Wharton and a bad attitude has made some frighteningly ambitious plans." -- Jacket. A corrected edition as this novel was published in 2002.
Morgan, M. Howard (pseud. Malcolm H. Mendey)
The Jack Vizzard Chronicles:
- First Fleet. Amazon Kindle, 2011. 452 p.
With the American colonies closed to Britain, the gaols overflowed, the criminal under-class posed a threat to the property classes. A solution was required. The answer lay in the continent on the far side of the world - Terra Australis Incognita and make use of the criminal class to develop a new colony, a source of trade and a base far from home for England's Royal Navy. The First Fleet of 11 ships left Portsmouth in May 1787 tasked with that objective. The First Fleet of convicts. The experiment so nearly failed. Jack Vizzard, a young marine officer of affluent background, becomes a member of this expedition. Lawyer, newly commissioned officer and murderer, Vizzard finds his acts of betrayal follow him to New South Wales.
The Glorious First. Amazon Kindle, 2014. 202 p.
War with Revolutionary France takes Lieutenant Vizzard to the coasts of France. He is to escort a government agent known to carry valuable intelligence of vital importance to Prime Minister Pitt's government. Captured by a traitor he must escape France. Can he trust the beautiful Frenchwoman who befriends him? His work leads directly to the first fleet action of the Revolutionary War with France and to the battle known in Britain as The Glorious First of June where heroes and cowards will die together.
Morley, F. V. (Frank Vigor) (1899-1985)
The Wreck of the Active, a story of adventure. Houghton Mifflin, 1936. 347 p.
In the early 1800s
two Americans sail in the schooner ACTIVE from London to Pacific
Northwest around the Horn, encountering adventures with storms and
savages. U.K. title: "War Paint".
Mörne, Håkan (1900-1961)
Slaves to the Sea. Elek, 1956. 181 p.
Translation of the prize winning novel Havets Bröd. A young
Finn finds adventure and himself aboard a tramp steamer voyaging from
Rotterdam to Archangelsk to Scotland to New York.
Morrill, George P. (1920- )
Dark Sea Running. McGraw-Hill, 1959. 211 p.
Novel about a merchant marine captain commanding
a T-2 tanker across the Atlantic convoy routes during WW II.
Morris, Donald R. (1924- )
Warm Bodies. Simon and Schuster, 1957. 204 p.
Life aboard an LST in the peacetime navy during the
1950s. Story relates how the the LST's bachelor XO falls in love over
the Christmas holidays, when the nearly-empty ship is visited by a
woman reporter, then pursues her through various misadventures to the
altar. Fimed as All Hands on Deck.
China Station. Farrar, Straus, and Young, 1951. 276 p.
Protagonist is an enlisted man aboard a destroyer
based at Tsingtao in late 1940s. His White Russian girl friend is
evacuated to Shanghai when Communist forces take Tsingtao.
Morrow, James (1947- )
Towing Jehovah. Harcourt Brace, 1994. 371 p.
A satirical novel on the death of God. For inexplicable reasons he dies and falls into the sea, and the Vatican hires a supertanker to secretly tow his two-mile-long body to the Arctic for preservation. But the secret leaks out and everyone gets in on the act, exploiting God's death to their own end.
Morton, Frederic. (1924- )
The Witching Ship. Random House, 1960. 271 p.
An eerie, intense and unpleasant fascination characterizes this story of an eight days' voyage of a luxury cruise ship-Dutch and presumably neutral- pressed into service early in the war as a transport ship for refugees, only to be caught in its final days, with the news that Rotterdam had been blasted from the sky. Those eight days are mirrored in a vacuum: on the side, the terrors of escaping Hitler's Europe, with shreds of dignity and hastily gathered portable possessions and memories of past grandeurs and future obliquies; on the other, a thin scattering of Americans, homeward bound, seeking fleeting sensations snatched in passing. There's underlying tragedy, mordaunt humor, unbearable cruelty and always fear as bits of many stories are woven into a kaleidoscope that at the end breaks once more into scattered, meaningless fragments.
Silver: Return to Treasure Island. Jonathan Cape, 2012. 432 p.
In the marshy eastern reaches of the Thames lies the Hispaniola, an inn kept by Jim Hawkins and his son. Young Jim spends his days roaming the mist-shrouded estuaries, running errands for his father and listening to his stories in the taproom; tales of adventures on the high seas, of curses, murder and revenge, black spots and buried treasure - and of a man with a wooden leg. Late one night, a mysterious girl named Natty arrives on the river with a request for Jim from her father - Long John Silver. Aged and weak, but still possessing a strange power, the pirate proposes that Jim and Natty sail to Treasure Island in search of Captain Flint's hidden bounty, the 'beautiful bar silver' left behind many years before. Silver has chartered a ship and a hardy crew for this purpose, whose captain is waiting only for the map, now locked away at the Hispaniola.
Mounce, David R.
Operation Cuttlefish. Pyramid, 1972. 222 p.
Paul Fox is sent along with his lover to the Bahamas to uncover the Soviet's system of moving key espionage personnel around the Western Hemisphere. The lady is kidnapped and Fox is targetted for elimination.
Moxon, Lloyd M.
Before the Wind. Doubleday, 1978. 191 p.
Novel, told in first
person, of Lt. John St. John's passage from newly-made Royal Navy
lieutenant to post captain during the Napoleonic Wars. The good
lieutenant joins a 64 commanded by a rabidly Methodist captain. After
falling into the captains bad graces, he is sent on a suicidal cutting
out mission, but succeeds, and is "rewarded" by being given command of
a brig no one else wants. But our hero turns the ship into the scourge
of the French coast. Purportedly first in a series, but it does not
appear that follow-ups were written.
Mudgett, Helen Parker (1900-1962)
The Seas Stand Watch. A.A. Knopf, 1944. 391 p.
Portrays the great era of New England's trade and the shift to manufacturing.
Midnight Admirals. Berkley, 1989. 343 p.
The supercarrier USS ABRAHAM LINCOLN carries
fighter planes, nukes and a demented psycopath on a trail of revenge. A
Tom Clancy type techno-thriller.
Muir, Margaret (M. C. Muir)
Sea Dust. Robert Hale, 2005. 223 p.
Set in 1856. After the death of her child, Emma's life is in ruins. In order to survive she must escape from her abusive husband and bury the guilt from her past. And then a chance encounter with a French seaman on the windswept Whitby cliff top provides the very opportunity. She can sail to Australia, but to do so she must stowaway on the Morning Star and risk being put ashore by the Captain if she is discovered. Following a vicious attack by one of the crew, Emma is nursed back to health by Charles Witton. As the turbulent sea around them mirrors Emma's emotional conflicts, the ship reaches Cape Town Bay - where disaster lies in wait.
Under Admiralty Orders - The Oliver Quintrell Series:
- Floating Gold. Robert Hale, 2010. 227 p.
In March 1802, the Treaty of Amiens brings an uneasy peace to Europe. While the fighting ships of the Royal Navy languish in ordinary and sailors litter the alleys and alehouses of Portsmouth, frustrated officers barrage the Admiralty for a commission.
- The Tainted Prize. Grindelwald, 2012. 234 p.
The year is 1803 and aboard HM Frigate, Perpetual, Captain Quintrell heads south to the Southern Ocean. His orders are to find a missing ship even if it means sailing all the way to Peru. But in order to complete his mission, he must face the challenges of the Horn, an unnerving discovery, French privateers, political intrigue and even deception and unrest amongst his own crew.
- Admiralty Orders. Grindelwald, 2013. 215 p.
Book 3 in the Oliver Quintrell Series, sees Captain Quintrell facing life-threatening events over which he has no control. Ordered to sail to Gibraltar in the late summer of 1804, his ship soon becomes hemmed in, not by Spanish gunboats or French ships of the line, but by the Quarantine Regulations which close the port around him. Unable to halt the loss of life from a raging epidemic, he strives to do his part to help save the Colony when it is at its most vulnerable.
- The Unfortunate Isles. Grindelwald, 2014. 222 p.
A sheltered cove in the idyllic Western Islands offers an ideal location to careen His Majesty's frigate, Perpetual. But what Captain Quintrell discovers on the beach, and in a nearby village, is shocking. Despite his orders, he promises he will not rest until he has brought the piratical scoundrel responsible for these barbaric acts to justice.
Munro, Neil (pseud. Hugh Foulis) (1864-1930)
Para Handy, and other Tales. W. Blackwood, 1937. 690 p.
Stories about the most decrepit tramp steam sailing out
of Glasgow, the VITAL SPARK, usually commanded by "Para Handy" (Peter
Erchie ; &, Jimmy Swan : with fifty-nine previously uncollected stories. Birlinn, 1993. 532 p.
Some of these should be nautical.
Murchie, Guy Jr. (1907-1997)
Mutiny of the Bounty and Other Sea Stories. Spencer, 1937. 309 p.
Murchie wrote his
account of the Bounty mutiny for the Chicago Tribune in the 1930s, it's
been reprinted here, along with 5 stories and short novels by other
writers: How old Wiggins wore ship -- Lost in the fog -- " ... Mas has come" -- The haunted ships -- Idylls of the sea.
The Utmost Island. Crown, 1951. 216 p.
Novel about Lief Ericcson's voyage to the new
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