Skip to Main Content

Nautical Fiction Index

Authors Dow - Dy

Dowdell, Del

Torpedo Alley. Windsor, 1988. 414 pages

The US sub POCATELLO chases the Russian supersub SUSLOV which is carrying stolen secrets that could render the US Navy defenseless.




Dowling, Sherwood

Sub-marine Chums series

  1. The Cruise of the Gray Whale. D. Appleton, 1914. 215 pages

    Adventures of a group of young boys in a home-made submarine. The first discovery of the submarine and the chums' first adventures. These are not without peril, and the stories' real moral lies in the clear-headed, and innovative way the young hero saves the lives of his companions and extricates them from danger. Nothing fantastic or unbelievable, just good common sense, some simple basic physics and the hard lesson learned that things that appear to be dangerous, probably are, and that adults should probably be consulted first!


  3. The Gray Whale - Warship. D. Appleton, 1914. 194 pages






  5. The Gray Whale - Flagship. D. Appleton, 1915. 184 pages

    More adventures of the Submarine Chums but now with two subs! They decide to go into business carrying passengers on submerged tours, but obviously, since this is a boy's book series, much trouble ensues with bad guys (and good guys) galore.




  7. The Gray Whale - Derelict. D. Appleton, 1915. 168 pages






Downey, Bill

Black Viking. Fawcett Gold Medal, 1981. 316 pages

Gunnar Black Wolf, son of a Viking lord and a Moorish slave, grows up as one of the chosen of Odin and the companion of prince Harald Finehair. He returns home from fun and freebooting to find his adoptive parents, wife, and child dead, and vows vengance against their slayer. In the course of this quest, he becomes outlawed and is driven to lead a mighty raid against the Franks.




Dowswell, Paul (1957- )

Sam Witchall series

  1. Powder Monkey. Bloomsbury, 2005. 275 pages

    Thirteen-year-old Sam endures harsh conditions, battles, and a shipwreck after being pressed into service aboard the HMS Miranda during the Napoleonic Wars.




  3. Prison Ship. Bloomsbury, 2006. 313 pages

    After being framed for cowardice in a sea battle, fifteen-year-old Sam and his friend Richard are sent to Australia, where they must fight for their lives in the outback.




  5. Battle Fleet. Bloomsbury, 2007. 290 pages

    Having escaped death in Australia, Sam endures a dangerous sea voyage back to England, where he rejoins the Navy and becomes midshipman on the Victory as it prepares for the Battle of Trafalgar.




Doyle, Arthur Conan (1859- 1930)

The Dealings of Captain Sharkey, and other tales of pirates. George H. Doran , 1919. 260 pages

Four stories about Captain Sharkey: How the governor of Saint Kitt's came home -- The dealings of Captain Sharkey with Stephen Craddock -- The blighting of Sharkey -- How Copley Banks slew Captain Sharkey.
Other nautical related stories: "The Captain of the Pole-Star" is about the mysterious and untimely end of Nicholas Craigie, the captain of the ship called The Polestar, as recorded by the ship's doctor in his diary. "J. Habakuk Jephson's Statement" is an explanation of the disappearance of the crew from Mary Celeste, here called the Marie Celeste. "That Little Square Box" takes place on a ship, where a gentleman overhears two passengers talking about a box with a trigger.
The other stories are: The "Slapping Sal" -- A pirate of the land (One crowded hour) -- Tales of blue water: The striped chest -- The fiend of the cooperage -- Jelland's voyage.


Uncollected stories : the unknown Conan Doyle. Doubleday, 1982. 456 pages

Maritime related fiction: The fate of the Evangeline -- Touch and go : a midshipman's story -- A true story of the tragedy of Flowery Land -- The recollections of Captain Wilkie -- The Death Voyage.




Drachmann, Holger Henrik Herholdt (1846-1908)

The Cruise of the "Wild Duck" and Other Stories. Unwin, 1893. 208 pages

Short stories, translated from Danish.




Draper, Alfred (1924-2007)

Grey Seal. Macdonald, 1981. 255 pages

GREY SEAL is a coal-burning 600 ton ex-trawler taken up by the Royal Navy as WW II gets under way. We follow the course of the war in those early days as the crew come to terms with the dramatic changes in their circumstances and slowly become welded into an efficient fighting unit bonded by something stronger but less tangible than naval discipline. E-boats, aircraft and U-boats take their toll on GREY SEAL and her crew during East coast convoy duties, the Northern Patrol and anti-submarine duties off Scapa Flow.



The Restless Waves. Macdonald, 1983. 284 pages

GREY SEAL, her main characters still on board, is rescuing the British Army from the debacle of Norway. Short of fuel she hides in the fjords and manages to return to England with glory after using everything that would burn to get there. While at Dunkirk, after an extensive refit, helping to save the British army again, a mysterious captain involves them in a secret mission to recover diamonds, gold and blueprints from a vessel sunk in the exodus from Holland in the face of the German advance.




Drake, John [pseud. J. C. Edwards] (1944- )

Treasure Island prequel Series

  1. Flint and Silver. HarperCollins, 2008. 376 pages

    John Silver had never killed a man. Until now, charisma, sheer size and, when all else failed, a powerful pair of fists, had been enough to see off his enemies. But on a smouldering deck off the coast of Madagascar, his shipmates dead or dying all around him, his cutlass has just claimed the lives of six pirates. With their comrades intent on revenge, Silver's promising career in the merchant navy looks set to come to an end until the pirate captain makes him an offer he can't refuse. On the other side of the world Joseph Flint, a naval officer wronged by his superiors, plots a bloody mutiny. Strikingly handsome, brilliant, but prey to sadistic tendencies, the path Flint has chosen will ultimately lead him to Silver.


  3. Pieces of Eight. HarperCollins, 2009. 388 pages

    Joseph Flint and Long John Silver have a score to settle. Marooned on a remote Caribbean island with his loyal crew and a fortune in buried treasure, Silver awaits the return of the man who left him there. In order to defeat Silver and claim the island back as his, Flint will need to raise an army -- no easy feat for the man most wanted by the Royal Navy.




  5. Skull and Bones. HarperCollins, 2010. 392 pages

    When infamous 'gentleman of fortune' Captain Flint is captured by the Royal Navy and condemned to hang for mutiny and piracy, it seems that the secret location of his buried treasure will die with him. But Flint has an audacious plan to gain command of ship and crew before they reach London and escape the hangman's noose. Meanwhile, aboard Flint's former vessel The Walrus, Long John Silver seeks one final prize before retiring from privateering. However his wife Selena has jumped ship to pursue a career on the London stage - only to fall into a trap - so Silver must give chase to save the woman he loves.




Druett, Joan (1939- )

Abigail. Random House, 1988. 409 pages

Inspired by a true story. A young girl inherits her father's whaling ship when he is murdered in New Zealand in the 1850s, sets out from US to claim her inheritance, crosses paths with pirates, and seeks treasure.




A Promise of Gold. Macmillan, 1990. 416 pages

A young actress bluffs her way on board the brig HAKLUYT in the year 1848, to find that the captain and crew are professional treasure-hunters. She and her brother plan to make a fortune by stealing a flock of alpaca and selling them in New South Wales, but instead are carried off to the Californian gold-fields. Reprinted as three separate novels: Judas Island, Calafia's Kingdom, and Dearest Enemy.




Wiki Coffin Series

Historical crime series set during the United States Exploring Expedition through the Pacific Ocean by the United States Navy 1838-1842.

  1. A Watery Grave. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2004. 292 pages

    Exonerated for a murder hours after an exploration convoy sets sail for the Pacific islands, ship linguist Wiki Coffin is made a deputy by a Virginia sheriff and sets out to catch up with his crewmates, one of whom is the real killer.




  3. Shark Island. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2005. 292 pages

    Forsythe leads Wiki and George into dangerous waters where both sharks and men kill. Wiki knows that Forsythe is capable of such violence but he believes him innocent and is duty-bound to prove it for the sake of the expedition.




  5. Run Afoul. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2006. 280 pages

    US Exploring Expedition linguist Wiki Coffin sails with the famous convoy of ships toward Brazil. As the great flagship Vincennes leads the convoy under the dubious command of eccentric captain Charles Wilkes toward a dramatic entrance in the port of Rio, careless manoeuvring leads one of the vessels to run afoul of a Boston trading ship.




  7. Deadly Shoals. St. Martin's Minotaur, 2007. 290 pages

    Wiki Coffin plays many roles on the US Exploring Expedition linguist, navigator, and, as half-Maori, cultural liaison - but when a New England whaler shows up, frantically looking for his stolen schooner, Wiki must take on the role of unofficial sheriff.




  9. The Beckoning Ice. Old Salt Press, 2012. 302 pages

    The schooner Betsey is very nearly wrecked on a massive iceberg, which looms suddenly out of the fog. The terror of nearly hitting the ice island is only made worse by the corpse of a man, apparently bludgeoned to dead, frozen on a ledge on the face of the ice. When the sealers report the apparent murder, Wiki Coffin is called to investigate. While performing his other duties and coping with bigotry and misunderstanding in the small fleet, Wiki must untangle the skein of secrets and alliances that result in the death of the young officer while evading the determined killers that threaten his own survival.


The Money Ship. Old Salt Press, 2017. 322 pages

Oriental adventurer Captain Rochester spun an entrancing tale to Jerusha, seafaring daughter of Captain Michael Gardiner — a story of a money ship, hidden in the turquoise waters of the South China Sea, which was nothing less than the lost trove of the pirate Hochman. As Jerusha was to find, though, the clues that pointed the way to fabled riches were strange indeed — a haunted islet on an estuary in Borneo, an obelisk with a carving of a rampant dragon, a legend of kings and native priests at war, and of magically triggered tempests that swept warriors upriver. And even if the clues were solved, the route to riches was tortuous, involving treachery, adultery, murder, labyrinthine Malayan politics ... and, ultimately, Jerusha’s own arranged marriage..



Du Brul, Jack B.

Vulcan's Forge. Forge, 1998. 348 pages

Philip Mercer, geologist and one- time commando, unexpectedly finds himself caught in the middle of a global crisis when he tries to rescue the daughter of an old friend who's being kept under armed guard at a local hospital. A nuclear bomb born undersea volcano with a rogue Russian submarine lurking near it, a violent secessionist movement in Hawaii, gun battles in the New York subway system, diplomatic breakdown in the Far East... can Mercer get us out of this mess?




Dubus, Andre (1936-1999)

The Lieutenant. Dial, 1969. 199 pages

A young Marine Corps officer is under a senior Navy officer's command on an aircraft carrier stationed off Japan. When some enlisted men act out pranks that can suggest homosexual associations, the Lieutenant is held responsible and he recalls why he came to the Corps and what it means to him.




du Maurier, Daphne (1907-1989)

Frenchman's Creek. Doubleday, Doran, 1942. 310 pages

A romance novel about a woman and a pirate, some of which takes place on the pirate ship.





Duprey, Richard A.

Duel on the wind: a Novel of the America's Cup Challenge. St. Martin's, 1976. 404 pages

About a fictitious 1977 Cup challenge by the Saudi Arabians!





Durbin, Chris

Carlisle and Holbrooke Naval Adventures

  1. The Colonial Post-Captain. self published, 2017. 325 pages

    The Western Mediterranean, 1756. An uneasy peace is about to be shattered as France’s greatest living general prepares an invasion force in Toulon; but where is it bound? Captain Carlisle hails from Virginia, a loyal colony of the British Crown. As the clouds of war gather, Carlisle’s small frigate — Fury — is ordered to Toulon on a reconnaissance mission. If battling the winter weather in the Gulf of Lions is not a sufficient challenge, Carlisle must also juggle the delicate diplomatic issues in this period of pre-war tension while contending with an increasingly belligerent French frigate.



  3. The Leeward Islands Squadron. self published, 2018. 329 pages

    In late 1756, as the British government collapses in the aftermath of the loss of Minorca and the country and navy are thrown into political chaos, a small force of ships is sent to the West Indies to reinforce the Leeward Islands Squadron. Captain Edward Carlisle, a native of Virginia, and his first lieutenant George Holbrooke are fresh from the Mediterranean and their capture of a powerful French man-of-war. Their new frigate Medina has orders to join a squadron commanded by a terminally ill commodore. Their mission: a near-suicidal assault on a strong Caribbean island fortress.



  5. The Jamaica Station. self published, 2018. 335 pages

    It is 1757, and the British navy is regrouping from a slow start to the seven years war. A Spanish colonial governor and his family are pursued through the Caribbean by a pair of mysterious ships from the Dutch island of St. Eustatius. The British frigate Medina rescues the governor from his hurricane-wrecked ship, leading Captain Edward Carlisle and his first lieutenant George Holbrooke into a web of intrigue and half-truths.



  7. Holbrooke's Tide. self published, 2019. 340 pages

    It is 1758 and the Seven Years War is at its height. The Duke of Cumberland’s Hanoverian army has been pushed back to the river Elbe while the French are using the medieval fortified city of Emden to resupply their army and to anchor its left flank. George Holbrooke is under orders to survey and blockade the approaches to Emden in advance of the arrival of a British squadron.




  9. The Cursed Fortress. self published, 2019. 331 pages






  11. Perilous Shore. self published, 2019. 335 pages






  13. Rocks and Shoals. self published, 2020. 335 pages






  15. Niagara Squadron. self published, 2020. 334 pages






  17. Ligurian Mission. self published, 2021. 338 pages






  19. Nor'west by North. self published, 2021. 333 pages






  21. Carlisle's Duty. self published, 2022. 335 pages






  23. Treacherous Moon. self published, 2022. 336 pages






  25. Cousins at Arms. self published, 2023. 322 pages






Durham, Lieutenant Commander Victor G. (Pseudonym)

Submarine Boys series

  1. The Submarine Boys On Duty; Or, Life on a Diving Torpedo Boat. Henry Altemus, 1909. 253 pages

    Two 16-year-old boys, Jack Benson and Hal Hastings, find employment at a boatyard building a new submarine boat. The submarine's inventor, David Pollard, hopes to sell his boat, the POLLARD, to the US Navy. Jack and Hal become crewmembers of the POLLARD upon her launching, with Jack as captain. Eph Somers, also 16 years old, joins the crew as they successfully demonstrate the POLLARD to the Navy. During their adventures, the Submarine Boys foil sabotage attempts by a former employee of the boatyard, capture an escaped lunatic, and nab the embezzler of a young heiress's fortune.


  3. The Submarine Boys' Trial Trip; Or, "Making Good" as Young Experts. Henry Altemus, 1909. 212 pages






  5. The Submarine Boys and the Middies; Or, The Prize Detail at Annapolis. Henry Altemus, 1909. 249 pages






  7. The Submarine Boys and the Spies; Or, Dodging the Sharks of the Deep. Henry Altemus, 1910. 251 pages






  9. The Submarine Boys' Lightning Cruise; Or, The Young Kings of the Deep. Henry Altemus, 1910. 250 pages






  11. The Submarine Boys For the Flag; Or, Deeding Their Lives to Uncle Sam. Henry Altemus, 1910. 249 pages






  13. The Submarine Boys and the Smugglers; Or, Breaking Up the New Jersey Customs Frauds. Henry Altemus, 1912. 249 pages






  15. The Submarine Boys' Secret Mission; or, Beating an Ambassador's Game. Henry Altemus, 1912. 212 pages






Dybek, Nick

When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man. Riverhead Books, 2012. 306 pages

Every fall, the men of Loyalty Island sail from the Olympic Peninsula up to the Bering Sea, to spend the winter catching king crab. To Cal, Alaska remains as mythical and mysterious as Treasure Island. But while Cal is too young to accompany his father, he is old enough to know that everything depends on the fate of those boats thousands of miles north. He is also old enough to wonder about his mother's relationship with John Gaunt, owner of the fleet. Then Gaunt dies suddenly, leaving the business in the hands of his son. Soon Cal stumbles on evidence that his father may have taken measures to salvage their way of life. As winter comes on, he is forced to make a terrible choice.


Dyer, Brian

The Celtic Queen. Mason & Lipscomb, 1974. 185 pages

Irishman escapes poverty by becoming a crewman aboard the flagship of the White Star Line. Guess the name of that ship.






California State University Maritime Academy

Cal Maritime Library
200 Maritime Academy Drive
Vallejo, CA 94590 

If you experience accessibility barriers using this website, please contact 707-654-1090 or . You will receive a reply within two business days. The library is committed to remediate accessibility barriers within this website and will provide accommodations until the barriers are remediated.