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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors May - Moo

Maynard, Kenneth ( -1987)

Lamb series:

  1. Lieutenant Lamb. St. Martin's, 1984. 191 pages

    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.

  2. First Lieutenant. St. Martin's, 1985. 214 pages

    Lamb serves as First Lieutenant of the frigate HMS ADROIT in the West Indies.

  3. Lamb In Command. St. Martin's, 1986. 199 pages

    Lamb gains his first command, the mail packet HERON, seeing service in the Caribbean.

  4. Lamb's Mixed Fortunes. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1987. 193 pages

    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 (1927-2015)

Action Starboard. Houghton Mifflin, 1956. 280 pages

War of 1812 adventure for young readers.


Dead Reckoning. Houghton Mifflin, 1967. 188 pages

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.


  1. The East Indiaman. Little, Brown, 1968. 337 pages

    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.

  2. On the Company's Service. Little, Brown, 1971. 343 pages

    1806-07, Merewether commands HEICS RAPID, serves as HEIC Commodore.

  3. For King and Company. Little, Brown, 1976. 336 pages

    1807-08, Merewether becomes senior captain of Bombay Marine, commands HEICS PITT.



Meade, Everard

The Dignity of Danger : a novel of the Pacific War. Burning Gate, 1993. 168 pages

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 with ComAirPac.



Meader, Stephen Warren (1892-1977)

The Black Buccaneer. Harcourt, Brace and Howe, 1920. 281 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

Life on whaling ship and in Hawaii.


Guns for the Saratoga. Harcourt, Brace, 1955. 207 pages

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 pages

Sailboat racing in Chesapeake Bay.


The Voyage of the Javelin. Harcourt, Brace, 1959. 189 pages

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 pages

Story of a young man on a blockade runner during the American civil war.


A Blow for Liberty. Harcourt, Brace & World, 1965. 187 pages

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 pages

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.



Medland, Maurice

Point of Honor. Kensington, 1997. 307 pages

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 depth.



Melchior, Ib (1917-2015)

V-3. Dodd, Mead, 1985. 310 pages

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.



Melendez, Francisco

The Mermaid and the Major: The True Story of the Invention of the Submarine. H.N. Abrams, 1991. 63 pages

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 pages


Omoo: a Narrative of Adventures in the South Seas. Harper, 1847. 389 pages


Redburn: his first voyage. Being the sailor-boy confessions and reminiscences of the son-of-a-gentleman, in the merchant service. Harper, 1849. 390 pages


Mardi: and a Voyage Hither. Haper, 1849. 2 volumes


White-Jacket, or, the World in a Man-of-War. Harper, 1850. 465 pages

An allegorical novel about the harsh life of a seaman onboard a nineteenth-century U. S. Navy frigate.


Moby Dick, or The Whale. Harper, 1851. 634 pages

"From Hell's heart I stab at thee."


Israel Potter, His Forty Years of Exile. Putnam, 1855. 276 pages


"Billy Budd, Foretopman" in Billy Budd, and other prose pieces. Constable, 1924. 399 pages

Written in 1891.



Melville-Ross, Antony (1920-1993)

HMS Trigger. Ballentine, 1982. 281 pages

U.K. title: Trigger. Captain Peter Harding, operating the submarine HMS TRIGGER in the Mediterranean in 1943.


Talon. Collins, 1983. 317 pages

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 pages

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 pages

WWII submarine action.



Meriwether, Louise

Fragments of the Ark. Pocket Books, 1994. 342 pages

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 pages

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 contruction.



Michelsen, G. F.

Mettle. University Press of New England, 2007. 255 pages

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 pages

Island life in WW II US navy.


Return to Paradise. Random House, 1951. 437 pages

Sequel to Tales of the South Pacific.


The Bridges of Toko-Ri. Random House, 1953. 146 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

WW II Pacific Theater action.



Miller, Sharon B.

Danger Aboard the Evening Star. Moody, 1974. 160 pages

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 adults.



Minns, Steph

One Man Drowning. New Generation, 2009. 472 pages

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.



Mirvish, Robert F. (1921-2007)

Red Sky at Midnight. William Sloane, 1955. 343 pages

Yet another novel about the trials of the Murmansk run during World War II.


Point of Impact. William Sloane, 1961. 312 pages

Heavily influenced by the Andrea Dorea sinking, the novel chronicles life aboard a great ocean liner until the moment it collides with a heavily laden oil tanker


The Last Capitalist. William Sloane, 1963. 320 pages

In Murmansk during the Great Patriotic War, 12 year old Dmitri, orphaned, discovers free trade, becomes secure in providing what people want by salvaging after bombings, gathers a cadre of youngsters around him -- and defies Russian authority.



Mitchell, James

Steady, Boys, Steady. P. Davies, 1960. 205 pages

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:

  1. Rites of War. Jove, 1998. 342 pages

    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.

  2. Rules of Command. Berkeley, 1998. 347 pages

    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.

  3. Code of Conflict. Berkeley, 1999. 344 pages

    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 pages

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 Academy.



Mokin, Arthur (1923- )

Ironclad: The Monitor and the Merrimack. Presidio, 1991. 274 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

WW II convoy escort, and his best by far.


The Ship That Died of Shame and Other Stories. W. Slone, 1959. 259 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages



Montague, Dan

White Wings. Dutton, 1997. 467 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

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 pages

A feud engulfs the entire population of a small island off the coast of Maine.



Moorhouse, Geoffrey (1931-2009)

The Boat and the Town. Little, Brown, 1979. 275 pages

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.