MacDonald, John D. (John Dann)
The Last One Left.
Doubleday, 1967. 369 pages
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 Bahamas 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.
Book 1 - Begins and ends aboard the
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
Book 6 - Set in Florida, with McGee
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.
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
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.
Book 13 - Set in Florida and the
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
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
Book 15 - Set in Hawaii and Tahiti, with
flashbacks to Florida and Mexico. McGee tries to convince a friend's
daughter that her new husband isn't really trying to kill
Book 16 - Set in Florida. McGee stays
"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
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.
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.
Book 21 - Set in Florida, with some
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
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)
Book Depot, 1945. 102 pages
Collection of stories about life on the
small ships. Revised in 1961.
Enemy in Sight.
Horwitz, 1958. 176 pages
Lt. Peter Bentley is detached from his
take command of a 4-man minisub, which is supposed to sneak into a
Japanese harbor and attack the cruisers therein. Revised in
Mutiny! Horwitz, 1958. 176 pages
Target - Battleship.
Horwitz, 1959. 174 pages
Horwitz, 1959. 130 pages
Horwitz, 1960. 160 pages
Horwitz, 1960. 161 pages
Eagles Over Taranto.
Horwitz, 1961. 161 pages
Horwitz, 1961. 162 pages
Horwitz, 1962. 162 pages
Horwitz, 1962. 162 pages
The Gun. Horwitz, 1963. 130 pages
Not Under Command.
Horwitz, 1963. 130 pages
Headlong into Hell.
Horwitz, 1968. 128 pages
To the Death.
Horwitz, 1969. 130 pages
The Iron Claw.
Horwitz, 1973. 128 pages
Centred around an Australian destroyer
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 pages
The thread of this book starts with an
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
Horwitz, 1985. 144 pages
Kenyon PT boat
Lt. Kenyon takes command of a PT Boat
and must prove
himself to himself, his crew and the squadron.
Lt. Kenyon sinks Japanese transport that
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.
Kenyon and the 44-boat are sent to
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.
A classic "destroyers at war" novel
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 is now in command of the
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
McFee, William (1881-1966)
Casuals of the Sea : the voyage of a soul.
Doubleday, Page, 1916. 469
Command. Doubleday, Page, 1922. 337 pages
Adventures of a mate on a British
Sailors of Fortune.
Doubleday, Doran, 1929. 415
A collection of short stories and one
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
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
Doubleday, Doran, 1938. 439
Our hero, chief engineer of the SS
SANSOVINA, meets a
wealthy passenger and spins her a yarn about WW
Watch Below : a reconstruction in narrative form of the golden age of steam when coal took the place of wind and the tramp steamer's smoke covered the seven seas.
Random House, 1940. 375
Lightly fictionalized account of the author's experiences with the British tramp freighter trade.
Ship to Shore.
Random House, 1944. 407 pages
The captain of the luxury liner
LEXINGTON during the
Depression deals with a fire at sea.
In the First Watch.
Random House, 1946. 334 pages
Reminiscences of life at sea in British
tramp steamers before and during the Great War.
Grafton, 1990. 320 pages
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.
Ballentine, 1986. 532 pages
In the late 17th and early 18th
Barker becomes buccaneer while Eliza Barker becomes renowned ship
The Last Voyage of the Unlucky Katie Marie.
A. Whitman, 1969. 32 pages
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
MacGregor, James Murdoch (1925-
When the Ship Sank.
Doubleday, 1959. 236 pages
A motor passenger vessel -- modeled
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
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
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 pages
The daughter of riverboat captain and
adventures along the upper Mississippi. So notorious in her day, they
wrote songs about her.
Mack, William P. (1915-2003)
Co-author William P. Mack Jr. Four-piper
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.
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
WW I vintage destroyer becomes
in the Pacific during WW II.
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
Introduces the BENSON-class DD LAWRENCE,
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,
Takes LAWRENCE from pre-D-Day build-up,
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
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.
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.
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.
Scotsman Fergus Kilburnie returns to
Nelson's Navy to do battle with England's enemies.
The Seas of Fortune.
Berkley, 1983. 359 pages
Yankee captain and ship designer moves
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 pages
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
The Sons of Martha, and Other Stories.
Harper & Row, 1967. 221 pages
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.
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
The Left-Handed Monkey Wrench.
Naval Institute Press, 1984. 335
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)
Chattor & Windus, 1947. 264
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
Macmillan, 1952. 279 pages
Famous mystery writer tries her hand at
book with this tale of Henry Morgan in Jamaica.
McLaughlin, W. R. D.
Harrap, 1960. 253 pages
In the closing days of 1941 the German
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
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.