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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Di - Don

Dillon, Eilís (1920-1994)

The Lost Island. Faber & Faber, 1952. 201 pages

For young readers. Boy sails off with some friends to find lost father.


The Singing Cave. Faber & Faber, 1959. 186 pages

In Connemara on the west of Ireland there is a niche in a cliff that is known locally as "the singing cave". On the day after a great March storm, Pat, the narrator, hears the cave begin to sing. He discovers an inner chamber in the cave and in that chamber the skeleton and tomb of a Viking warrior, but when he visits the cave again the next day the Viking and his hoard have disappeared. Who has stolen this treasure - and why? Pat has told nobody about it but his grandfather and the local amateur archaeologist, Mr Allen. With the quest for the missing Viking and his tomb, an exciting and perilous adventure begins for Pat and for his friend, Tom Joyce. For young readers.


The Cruise of the Santa Maria. Funk & Wagnalls, 1967. 189 pages

A newly built boat proves a launch to adventure as two Irish boys seek to disprove that their vessel is cursed. For young readers.


The Seals. Funk & Wagnalls, 1968. 127 pages

Pat Conneeley and three friends set out for the mainland in stormy weather to rescue his uncle Roddy wanted by the Black and Tans for patriot activities.


The Island of Ghosts. Scribner, 1989. 151 pages

Before leaving Inishglass, an island off the coast of Ireland, for school in Galway, Dara and Bran visit their tutor who has moved to a haunted island and has plans to keep the boys on the island forever. For young readers.



DiMercurio, Michael

Voyage of the Devilfish. D.I. Fine, 1992. 351 pages

The FS KALININGRAD is the last great triumph of Soviet submarine technology. Now it is at sea beneath the polar icecap. Aboard is the most brilliant commander in the Russian undersea fleet, Admiral Alexi Novskoyy. In his fanatic hands is the power to turn back the clock to the cold war and restart the countdown to doomsday. Opposing him in the killer-chase sub USS DEVILFISH is Captain Michael Pacino. His orders: to find and destroy the invincible Russian vessel. His private passion: to settle a score with the man who killed his father.


Attack of the Seawolf. D.I. Fine, 1993. 352 pages

The nightmare fear of the US had come true. One of our finest submarines, the USS TAMPA, on a top-secret spying mission, had fallen into Chinese Communist hands. The Communists, fighting for survival in a savage civil war, now held not only the sub, the crew, and the gutsy Commander Sean Murphy hostage, but US power and prestige as well. America had one last desperate card to play. The most advanced submarine in the world, the still untried USS SEAWOLF, under command of maverick daredevil Captain Michael "Patch" Pacino. The SEAWOLF had to steal back the TAMPA from where it lay guarded by the entire Chinese fleet armed to the teeth with technology from the bankrupt Russians.


Phoenix Sub Zero. D.I. Fine, 1994. 381 pages

The HEGIRA was the finest super-sub that Arab oil money could buy. But the US Navy was only now learning just how good this undersea sword of Islam was. Already one American sub had been destroyed, and another crippled, as the Hegira broke out of the Mediterranean and headed toward America to deliver its lethal payload. It was up to Captain Michael Pacino and the USS Seawolf to find the enemy and destroy it in the ultimate battle between the most advanced weapons technology on the planet and the most primal courage and daring.


Barracuda Final Bearing. D.I. Fine, 1997. 365 pages

A volatile new state calling itself Greater Manchuria emerges out of the political military strife of Asia. Thanks to the connections of its brash leader, it boasts an atomic arsenal. Japan, threatened by its proximity to nuclear disaster, shocks the world by launching a sophisticated preemptive strike against its new neighbor. Worldwide outrage at this aggression provokes the UN to blockade the trade-dependant nation. But Japan is ready - its sub fleet is armed to the teeth and thoroughly equipped to destroy the blockade. With the world now at the boiling point of all-out war, Admiral Michael Pacino gives his captain a "mission impossible" order to sink the Japanese submarine fleet.


Piranha Firing Point. Onyx, 1999. 400 pages

Six Japanese submarines are attacked and believed destroyed in the East China Sea. To the world, it seems like an accident. But to former submarine commander Dick Donchez it is the first act of war. He alone knows the truth: that the old guard of Red China has stolen the subs to wage a massive attack against the new Free China. Vice Admiral Michael Pacino can't prove Donchez's theory. The US government will not officially retaliate. But when a full-scale battle erupts, Pacino is quickly given command of the Navy's latest undersea weapon: the highly classified submarine known as SSNX. It is America's most advanced and sophisticated warship - and the world's only hope in the final, desperate war for freedom.


Threat Vector. Onyx, 2000. 555 pages

With a renegade sub commander on the loose and in the employ of an organization bent on disrupting international trade, the USS Devilfish is called in to stop the sinking of a cruise ship carrying most of the US Navy's top brass.


Terminal Run. New American Library, 2002. 414 pages

The final undersea showdown between Admiral Michael Pacino and his most hated nemesis, Alexi Novskoyy.


Emergency Deep. New American Library, 2004. 411 pages

U.S. Navy submarine commander Peter Vornado is taken out of service by a devastating illness that ends his career and leaves him in a deep depression, but when a terrorist cabal acquires a scrapped Soviet sub that allows them to fire torpedos directly at Israel, Peter is asked to infiltrate the group and stop a worldwide war.


Vertical Dive. New American Library, 2005. 427 pages

When a band of Algerian terrorists hijack a French nuclear submarine so advanced it can elude any radar system, two NATO subs are called into action and Burke Dillinger and Peter Vornado must join forces to stop the terrorists before they can destroy Russia and the United States.



Dingle, Captain Aylward Edward (Sinbad) (1874-1947)

Pipe All Hands! J.B. Lippincott, 1935. 382 pages

Short stories about an old whaling captain. Contents: The tarrible Swede -- Pearls for swine -- The spouter -- The anchor -- Salvage -- The hulk -- Cap'n Jethro's luck -- Tippy Knute -- Old men of the sea -- The devil in the jade -- Ocean magic -- The knell of the Horn.



Disney, Dorothy Cameron (1903- 1992)

The 17th Letter. Random House, 1945. 248 pages

Sea-going espionage and skulduggery in New York, Halifax and Reykjavik.



Divine, Arthur Durham (1904- 1987)

U-Boat in the Hebrides. Collins, 1940. 252 pages

Sea-going espionage and skulduggery in New York, Halifax and Reykjavik.



Dodson, Kenneth (1907-1999)

Away All Boats. Little, Brown, 1954. 508 pages

Classic story of attack transport USS BELINDA and her role landing marines in the Pacific. To some, one of the best WW II naval novels ever.


Stranger to the Shore. Little, Brown, 1956. 324 pages

Tale of one Kurt Mueller, on the Cape Falcon, a freighter on a dangerous mission from the Coral Sea to Chile. With the port of Felicidad torn internally by conflict with the local Nazis, the peace-loving, shy Kurt tangles with a local trouble maker- and also falls in love.



Dorfman, Allan

A House at War. Xlibrus, 2000. 492 pages

Cover: a ship and a family do battle against the sea and the Nazis.



Donachie, David (1944- )

Privateer captain Harry Ludlow series

  1. The Devil's Own Luck. Macmillan, 1991. 269 pages

    Ex-privateer Harry Ludlow is impressed into the RN in 1892. His brother is accused of murder amidst shipboard intrigue and politics. Revised in 1995.

  2. The Dying Trade. Macmillan, 1993. 341 pages

    Ludlow goes to Genoa to find out why an English captain was hanged.

  3. A Hanging Matter. Macmillan, 1994. 389 pages

    Harry Ludlow comes home to England and becomes a smuggler.

  4. An Element of Chance. Macmillan, 1995. 420 pages

    Harry Ludlow sails to the West Indies and into a struggle for control of the seas in 1795.

  5. The Scent of Betrayal. Macmillan, 1996. 405 pages

    In their latest adventure, the Ludlows find an abandoned merchant ship as they convey a group of French mariners fleeing the French Revolution to the New Orleans of 1795. The Spanish authorities are suspicious of the Ludlows and desperately interested in finding out what happened to the ship. Large sums of money and revolutionary politics are involved. As a result the Ludlows are pinned under the guns of New Orleans until they can solve the mystery.

  6. A Game of Bones. Macmillan, 1997. 342 pages

    The Ludlows, homeward bound from America, encounter a French privateer that is capturing an Indiaman. Bested by the Frenchman, Harry Ludlow gets drawn into a duel of wits with the French captain in which Harry's fortune, ship, and life end up as stakes on the board -- all against the backdrop of the Great Mutiny -- which forms a second game into which both Ludlows get drawn by both commissioned acquaintances and forecastle mutineers.


John Pearce series

  1. By the Mast Divided. Allison & Busby, 2004. 336 pages

    Young firebrand John Pearce, on the run from the authorities, is illegally press-ganged from the Pelican tavern into brutal life aboard HMS Brilliant, a frigate on its way to war. In the first few days Pearce discovers the Navy is a world in which he can prosper. But he is not alone; he is drawn to a group of men who eventually form an exclusive gun crew, the Pelicans, with Pearce their elected leader.

  2. A Shot Rolling Ship. Allison & Busby, 2005. 333 pages

    Pressed into King George's Navy for the second time in a month, John Pearce and his Pelicans find themselves working aboard HMS Brazen. But Pearce must find a way off the ship to rescue his ailing father from the dangers of revolutionary Paris.

  3. An Awkward Commission. Allison & Busby, 2006. 315 pages

    Stranded in Portsmouth, John Pearce has once again failed to secure the release of those who depended on him - his fellow Pelicans. They have been shipped off to the Mediterranean while he was indulging himself in London. So he must take ship and follow them. His application to William Pitt for a place finds him as 8th lieutenant on HMS Victory, flagship of Admiral Lord Hood.

  4. A Flag of Truce. Allison & Busby, 2008. 364 pages

    John Pearce comes back from Corsica demanding that Captain Barclay of HMS Brilliant, the man who originally pressed him and his fellow Pelicans into the Navy, be tried at home by a civilian court. Barclay's patron Admiral Hotham contrives a way out of the dilemma. He staffs the ship Pearce captured in Corsica with members of the Revolutionary Navy refusing to serve under the Bourbon flag and gives it to Henry Digby, with Pearce and his Pelicans under him, so that they may transport the renegade French sailors to an Atlantic port and set them free.

  5. The Admirals' Game. Allison & Busby, 2008. 318 pages

    Lieutenant Pearce's continuing conflict with Captain Ralph Barclay, the man responsible for press-ganging Pearce and his companions into the Navy, intensifies as Barclay faces a court martial for his actions. But with Barclay's superiors, Admiral Lord Hood and Admiral Hotham, in dispute over how to deal with Barclay's misgivings and with his wife, Emily, struggling to cope with his barbarous nature, Barclay's future looks uncertain.Pearce's hope for retribution may occur sooner than he anticipated, but would it be to his advantage? <

  6. An Ill Wind. Allison & Busby, 2009. 319 pages

    Toulon, 1793. With the Republican Army at the gates, the citizens of Toulon are panicking, trying to flee the retribution of the guillotine. Amongst this confusion John Pearce and the rest of the Allied forces must put the needs of war before their lives: the Arsenal and dockyard must be destroyed, the ships they cannot get away must be set alight to deny them to the enemy. And Pearce is entrusted with dangerous tasks by Admiral Hotham.

  7. Blown Off Course. Allison & Busby, 2010. 382 pages

    Lieutenant John Pearce is in London seeking protection for his friends, the Pelicans, from a reluctant Admiralty. Sat in the Pelican Tavern where they were first press-ganged, he wonders what future he has, lacking funds and an occupation if he leaves Navy, and without the evidence that would bring Captain Ralph Barclay to justice for perjury. Problems are mounting for Barclay as well. Emily, his young, estranged wife, is refusing to live under the same roof as him and intends to use the evidence Pearce thinks is lost to get her own way. What action will be necessary to silence those who spell trouble for Barclay?

  8. Enemies at Every Turn. Allison & Busby, 2011. 350 pages

    1794. Free from jail, John Pearce is not free from the smugglers whose boat he stole - they want bloody revenge and are prepared to chase him to the ends of the earth to get it. While lying low at Emily Barclay's, Pearce soon has other pressing concerns on his mind: fellow Pelicans Charlie and Rufus remain incarcerated in the Chatham hulk prison ship, and Emily's rescue of the court martial papers that threaten to damn Pearce are at risk due to the dangerous scheming of Ralph Barclay and his slippery clerk, Gherson.

  9. A Sea of Troubles. Allison & Busby, 2012. 320 pages

    In the wake of the Glorious First of June, an equivocal success for the British naval fleet against the French Revolutionary forces, John Pearce has pressing matters to attend to. He has an urgent commission from Lord Hood, he must track down Midshipman Toby Burns and placate Emily who, estranged from her husband, Pearce 's enemy Captain Ralph Barclay, is now under his protection. Meanwhile, Pearce finds himself aboard HMS Agamemnon, and in series of actions and shore raids, impresses Horatio Nelson with his bold and brave manoeuvers.

  10. A Divided Command. Allison & Busby, 2013. 350 pages

    In his latest adventure, trouble follows John Pearce to the Mediterranean. He has to fight admirals, a duel and even Emily Barclay, the woman he loves, while back in London his mortal enemy and her husband, Captain Ralph Barclay, is seeking a way to confound him. All he has to rely on are his Pelicans, as well as the crew of his ship, HMS Larcher and this is tested to the limit when he has take on a superior force of Barbary Corsairs to both save Emily and the ship on which she is a passenger, in a fierce battle he thinks he cannot win.

  11. The Devil to Pay. Allison & Busby, 2014. 352 pages

    Faced with a ship in need of repair, enemy attacks and the threat of wily Admiral Hotham, John Pearce is sailing into danger. Meanwhile Ralph Barclay is on his way to the Mediterranean. Thinking his wife still with Pearce and that he can repair his marriage by rescuing her, he sails in pursuit, Hotham half-hoping he suffers the same fate as the admiral has in store for Pearce. Can John Pearce fight to first save himself and his charges from captivity and then to be free from the enemy? It is a battle that will require all of his wits.

  12. The Perils of Command. Allison & Busby, 2015. 352 pages

    Fresh from battle in the Gulf of Ambracia with the villainous Turk Mehmet Pasha, Lieutenant John Pearce and his trusty Pelicans arrive in the Italian port of Brindisi, with captures in tow and his wounded superior, Henry Digby, in a convalescent state. Their landing in the harbour is met by crowds and local dignitaries who insist Digby is attended to by their best physician. Free from authority, Pearce travels to Naples to track down his lover, Emily Barclay. But upon finding her, Emily reveals astonishing news that will send her back to her brutish husband and Pearce’s longstanding enemy, Captain Ralph Barclay

  13. A Treacherous Coast. Allison & Busby, 2016. 320 pages

    Pearce and his wife Emily are in living in Bath, when Minister of War Henry Dundas turns up and suggests a second mission to the Vendee, this time as a liaison between the French emigres intending to land in Brittany and the British naval and military commanders who will accompany them. The proposed expedition looks promising and Pearce takes the bait. Once at sea, however, Pearce and his crew encounter a French fleet and an indecisive battle ensues off the Ile de Groix. Pearce, accompanied by his faithful Pelicans, must go ashore into dangerous territory to check the lay of the land, find the allies and seek to coordinate actions in a situation where the forces of the Republic are gathering to crush the rebels .

  14. On a Particular Service. Allison & Busby, 2017. 320 pages

    John Pearce is going home. But he has to avoid capture by an Algerine warship, having his Pelicans pressed into a British frigate and that's before they are at risk of being hanged for desertion once home. Then there is the problem of Emily Barclay and their son Adam. By cunning and bluff he protects his friends, but not his troubled love life. In a whirlwind of action, there are forged wills, devious trades, contrived murders and dangerous spy missions, with so much deceit that Pearce does not know who to trust. All he can hope to do is survive.


Nelson and Emma series

  1. On a Making Tide. Orion, 2000. 688 pages

    Starting with Nelson's arrival at Chatham aged 12 to join his first ship the Raisonable (moored next to his last, the Victory) and with Emma rejecting life as a domestic servant to live in a bawdy house, this book will take Nelson and Emma to 1798 and the battle of the Nile, the crushing victory which secured Nelson's fame. In the U.S. this novel was split into two volumes consisting of On a Making Tide and the first half of Tested by Fate.

  2. Breaking the Line. Orion, 2001. 576 pages

    Following Nelson's victory at the Nile he was feted at home. Further victories against the French raised his popularity with the public at large to fever pitch. But at court Nelson's ego and his love for Emma Hamilton, seen as little more than a whore by the courtiers surrounding George III, dogged his progress. Only in death was he finally accepted at the heart of society. In the U.S. this novel was split into two volumes consisting of the second half of Tested by Fate and Breaking the Line.



Doner, Mary Frances (1893-1985)

Not By Bread Alone. Doubleday, Doran, 1941. 322 pages

The Great Lakes and its freighters and shipping as a background for a story of three generations of a family, and of how each woman, offered marriage with money, ease and security, took the hard way and married the men they had to support and protect.