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Nautical Fiction Index

Authors D - De

D'Amato, Barbara

Hard Tack. Scribner's, 1991. 229 pages

A Cat Marsala mystery. A locked room murder mystery on a sailboat in the Great Lakes. The author is not a sailor and is only a so-so writer but the whole book does take place on a boat.




Dahl, Mary B.

Free Souls. Houghton Mifflin, 1969. 133 pages

Novel based on the true story of the capture of the Spanish slaver AMISTAD by its "cargo" in 1839.




Danielski, John M.

Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle series

  1. Active's Measure. Fireship Press, 2015. 474 pages

    The Royal Navy of Great Britain is all that stands between Napoleon and absolute domination of Europe. Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle is assigned to HMS Active, part of a small squadron of frigates in the Adriatic Sea. He leads his handful of men against the French fleet, fighting not only with weapons but by using his wit.



  3. The King's Scarlet. Penmore Press, 2016. 1 volume

    Trapped behind enemy lines with vital dispatches for Lord Wellington, Pennywhistle violates orders when he saves a beautiful stranger, setting off a sequence of events that jeopardize his mission. The French launch a massive manhunt to capture him.




  5. Blue Water Scarlet Tide. Penmore Press, 2017. 344 pages

    It’s the summer of 1814, and Captain Thomas Pennywhistle of the Royal Marines is fighting in a New World war that should never have started, a war where the old rules of engagement do not apply. The Americans are fiercely determined to defend their new nation and the Great Experiment of the Republic; British Admiral George Cockburn is resolved to exact revenge for the burning of York. Thanks to Pennywhistle’s ingenuity, observant mind, and military discipline, a British strike force penetrates the critically strategic region of the Chesapeake Bay.



  7. Capital's Punishment. Penmore Press, 2017. 319 pages

    Royal Marine Captain Thomas Pennywhistle has no wish to see the young American republic destroyed; he must strike a balance between his humanity and his passion for absolute victory. Captain John Tracy of the United States Marines hazards his life on the battlefield, but he must also fight a powerful conspiracy that threatens the country from within. Pennywhistle and Tracy are forced into an uneasy alliance that will try the resolve of both. Together, they will question the depth of their loyalties as heads and hearts argue for the fate of a nation.



  9. Bellerophon’s Champion: Pennywhistle at Trafalgar. Penmore Press, 2019. 328 pages

    Three years an un-blooded Royal Marine, 1st Lieutenant Thomas Pennywhistle will finally “meet the lion,“ protecting HMS Bellerophon at the Battle of Trafalgar.




  11. Bombproofed. Penmore Press, 2020. 464 pages

    Pennywhistle has a code to break, a murder to solve, and spies to outfox. He will be entering a world of international intrigue, confronting a conspiracy to undermine the British monarchy.




Dann, Jack (1945- )

Going Under. Omni, September 1981.

Short story where the RMS Titanic is a modern-day thrill ride where passengers opt to go down with ship and die or choose to reserve a lifeboat and live. Incorporated into the novel The Man Who Melted, Bluejay, 1984.




David, Evan John

As Runs the Glass. Harper & Brothers, 1943. 312 pages

The Tudor family, of coastal Maine, in the 1780's, during the period when the young country is involved in running British blockades, aiding the Revolutionary French and building legend in the shipping trade.




Davidson, Louis Bennett (1894-1964) & Doherty, Eddie (1890-1975)

Captain Marooner. Crowell, 1952. 245 pages

Fictionalized account of the mutiny aboard the American whaleship GLOBE in the 1820s, in the Pacific, and the pursuit of her by USS DOLPHIN.




Davies, Lieut. John, RNVR (1913- )

Lower Deck : The story of a gun's crew in a destroyer. Macmillan & Co, 1945. 172 pages

Six weeks service in a fictional destroyer until she is sunk in 1942 in the Eastern Mediterranean seen, as the title suggests, from the lower deck.




Stone Frigate. Macmillan & Co, 1947. 179 pages

Prequel to Lower Deck. Covers the transition of civilian to sailor while being trained as an ordinary seaman.




Davies, J. D.

The Journals of Matthew Quinton series:

A series to run from the Restoration to the Georgians.

  1. Gentleman Captain. Old Street, 2009. 320 pages

    Charles II has been restored to the English throne for one year. He presides over a court swirling with intrigue, where friends and enemies mingle and conspire. Our hero, 22-year-old Matthew Quinton, is from a family loyal to their monarch. Pressed for time and facing evidence of yet another plot against his person, the king gives Quinton command of a ship and tasks him with a delicate mission: to sail to the western isles of Scotland, intercept a cargo of weapons destined for the king's sworn enemies and blow the conspiracy apart. Matthew is not an experienced seaman his last ship was lost with all hands. Dreading another failure, he is determined to master the sea and overcome his own fear and ignorance. But he has other difficulties to face on the voyage north: a resentful crew, a suspicion of murder, and the growing conviction that betrayal and treason lie closer to home than he thought.


  3. The Mountain of Gold. Old Street, 2011. 386 pages

    Beset by pirates, Knights of Malta, and saboteurs, Captain Matthew Quinton sails to Africa in pursuit of a mountain of gold. When a captured Barbary pirate saves his neck with a tall tale of a fabled mountain of gold, Quinton has his doubts. But King Charles II can't resist the chance to outstrip the Dutch with a limitless source of wealth. With the devious pirate O'Dwyer in tow, Quinton embarks on a voyage beyond the map's edge, still convinced that the mountain is mere legend. But as attempts to sabotage his mission draw closer to the mark, he begins to wonder. Back in England, the king has arranged a wedding between Matthew's elder brother, the Earl of Ravensden, and a mysterious lady rumored to have murdered her previous two husbands. Resolved not to fail his meddlesome sovereign, and to return home in time to protect his family and his home, Captain Quinton approaches the coast of Africa with a troubled mind.


  5. The Blast That Tears The Skies. Old Street, 2012. 368 pages

    Set in the opening year of the war - 1665 - and centred on the Battle of Lowestoft, one of the most stunning victories in British naval history. Captain Matthew Quinton finds himself thrust unexpectedly into the midst of a deadly conspiracy against King Charles II when he is given command of a vast and ancient man-of-war. Forced to contend with scheming ministers of state, a raw, rebellious crew and an alleged curse on his ship, Quinton sails against the might of the Dutch fleet.




  7. The Lion of Midnight. Old Street, 2013. 249 pages

    Captain Matthew Quinton's fifth mission for King and country is to the Swedish court at Gothenburg. Sweden is at the height of its military power, and Quinton is charged with securing much-needed support in England's new war against her old enemy, the Dutch republic. Accompanying him is the mysterious Lord Conisborough, who - unknown to his captain - is sworn to another, secret mission: to track down and kill the notorious regicide John Bale, alone among peers of the realm to sign the death warrant of Charles I. Gothenburg proves to be a hotbed of dangerously con?icting loyalties, and Quintonand crew find themselves needing help from the most unexpected quarters.



  9. The Battle of All the Ages. Old Street, 2014. 288 pages

    Once again Captain Quinton finds himself in the thick of the action, fighting the Dutch in one of the epic encounters of the age of sail. But the battle is a disaster: the fleet is mysteriously divided, with part of it sent to meet a French threat that never materialises, while thousands are slaughtered by the Dutch. As popular fury turns violent, the King decides heads must roll, and Quinton is sent to rebellious, pirate-infested Plymouth to root out the source of the false intelligence that cost so many British lives.



  11. Death's Bright Angel. Old Street, 2016. 289 pages

    In September 1666, one word was on everyon's lips. Fire. But not all attention was on the blaze that destroyed London. Just three weeks earlier, British ships had obliterated the Dutch town of Westerschelling and set 150 merchant vessels ablaze. In an atmosphere thick with rumour, many thought the Great Fire of London was caused by Britain's enemies, perhaps in revenge for Westerschelling. Perhaps they were right. In the weeks before London's burning, Sir Matthew Quinton, master of H.M.S. Sceptre, is recalled to a city seething with foreign plots and paranoia, and given a dangerous mission by the King. A secret quartet of terrorists is planning to destroy the capital, stir rebellion, open the way for invasion. Only Quinton can stop them.



  13. The Rage of Fortune. Self published, 2017. 281 pages

    A prequel to the Quinton series. Set against the backdrop of a series of real historical events, depicting naval actions such as the affairs of Invisible Armada, and at the Battles of Castlehaven, Kinsale and Sesimbra Bay, as well as intrigues over the succession to the English throne.




  15. The Devil Upon the Wave. Self published, 2017. 202 pages

    England suffers the worst defeat in her naval history, at the hands of the Dutch, who, not content with attacking and destroying British ships in their own waters, added insult to injury by towing away the flagship Royal Charles. The shame and humiliation is too much for this king’s captain of the seas to bear. He must recapture the Charles and redeem his country’s honor.




  17. Ensign Royal. Canelo Adventure, 2018. 108 pages

    Another prequel. Matthew Quinton, eighteen years old and an ensign in the Royalist Army in exile, is sent by his older brother the Earl of Ravensden into the heart of Oliver Cromwell’s England. Surrounded by enemies, he soon becomes tangled in a dark web of conspiracy.




Davies, Jack (1947-1984)

Esther, Ruth and Jennifer. W.H. Allen, 1979. 271 pages

The the hijacking of a huge North Sea oil rig is foiled by the eccentric and cat-loving counter-terrorism consultant Rufus Excalibur ffolkes. The novel is titled after ffolkes three white kittens.




Daviot, Gordon [pseud. Josephine Tey] (1896-1952)

The Privateer. Macmillan, 1952. 279 pages

Famous mystery writer tries her hand at tall ships book with this tale of Henry Morgan in Jamaica.




Davis, A. Kennard (Arthur Kennard) (1910- )

The Gentle Captain. Jonathan Cape, 1954. 175 pages

In bad weather the tramp steamer ANTARES is in trouble and her master Captain O'Maras experience of the sea, and probably more importantly, human nature, is severely tested as he attempts to save his ship and her people.




The Three-Yard Ensign. Barrie & Rockliff, 1963. 188 pages

Sea adventure - "brings vividly to life the very smell, feel and atmosphere of a small ship in the tropics, and of coastal life in East Africa today".






Davis, Bart (1950- )

Peter MacKenzie series:

  1. Full Fathom Five. Bantam, 1987. 311 pages

    US Navy must recover stolen Soviet nuclear sub.





  3. Raise the Red Dawn. Pocket, 1991. 339 pages

    The Soviet sub RED DAWN is trapped under ice while on a secret mission. A US sub tries to rescue her and capture her secrets while a Soviet killer sub tries to protect the prize.




  5. Destroy the Kentucky. Pocket, 1992. 371 pages

    Terrorists seize the minisub USS KENTUCKY and plan to attack Moscow with nuclear missiles. The Soviets put an American captain in a Russian sub to hunt her down.




  7. Atlantic Run. Pocket, 1993. 288 pages

    Captain Peter MacKenzie takes a group of undersea "top guns" to stop a top Soviet submarine captain from delivering a high-tech submarine to Cuba.




  9. Voyage of the Storm. Pocket, 1995. 366 pages

    The Joint Chiefs of Staff in Washington have assigned Admiral MacKenzie to oversee the transfer of a shipment of plutonium from Russia to Japan. But fanatic Japanese terrorists have hijacked the deadly cargo in mid-ocean. Isolated on a South Seas island, MacKenzie and a small band of survivors are determined to raise the Storm and sink the terrorists before they unleash a ring of deadly fire.




Davis, John (1774-1854)

The Post Captain, or, The wooden walls well manned : comprehending a view of naval society and manners. T. Tegg, 1806. 300 pages

Reprinted in the Nautilus Library, 1936. Lively adventures, both afloat and ashore, in rollicking language.




Jack Ariel; or Life on Board an Indiaman. H. Long and Brother, 1847. 156 pages

Events in the East India merchant service, during a voyage from London via Bombay to Canton and home.




Davis, John Gordon

Cape of Storms. Doubleday, 1971. 519 pages

Southern Ocean whaling based in South Africa.




Leviathan. Dutton, 1976. 309 pages

Oceanographer's son tries to save the whales by sinking a Soviet whaling factory ship in the Antarctic with a midget sub, helicopter and other hi-tech toys he inherited from his dad.




Dawlish, Peter [pseud. James Lennox Kerr] (1899-1963)

Dauntless series:

  1. Dauntless Finds Her Crew. Oxford, 1947. 188 pages






  3. Dauntless Sails Again. Oxford, 1948. 200 pages






  5. Dauntless and the Mary Baines. Oxford, 1949. 192 pages

    The crew of the Dauntless save Captain Blake and his crew but their ship, the Mary Baines is lost. Captain Blake is blamed for the accident but the boys suspect skulduggery.




  7. Dauntless Takes Recruits. Oxford, 1950. 236 pages

    Reprinted as Dauntless And The Poplar Pirates.





  9. Dauntless Sails In. Oxford, 1952. 259 pages






  11. Dauntless in Danger. Oxford, 1954. 186 pages

    Reprinted as Dauntless and the Smugglers.





  13. Sailors All!. Blackwell, 1957. 48 pages

    Initially a story in 5 More, edited by Geoffrey Trease.





  15. Dauntless Goes Home. Oxford, 1960. 167 pages







North Sea Adventure. Oxford University, 1949. 214 pages

Trainee fishermen on board a trawler in the North Sea in winter with a gale blowing. For young readers.





Peg-Leg and the Fur Pirates. Oxford, 1939. 236 pages





Peg-Leg Sweeps the Sea. Oxford, 1940. 246 pages





Peg-Leg and the Invaders. Oxford, 1940. 255 pages






The First Tripper. Oxford, 1947. 158 pages

A story of the Merchant Navy.




Captain Peg-Leg's War. Oxford University, 1939. 256 pages






Dawson, Michael [pseud. John Howard Jackson Boyle (1916-1994)]

Fathoms Deep. Nicholson & Watson, 1943. 145 pages

This purports to do for the submarine service what Monsarrat's books do for destroyers. And up to a point, it succeeds. One gets a very real feel of what it is like, -- the crowding, the close proximity of fellows of the crew, the periods of boredom and the activities, the sense of oneness with the ship and her parts, the planning for shore leave, the thoughts of women -- of food and drink and smokes, and the yearning for action, no matter what the outcome.


Torpedoes Running. Nicholson & Watson, 1946. 191 pages

Sequel to Fathoms Deep.





The "Schaduw" Dives. Nicholson & Watson, 1948. 190 pages

In a long and complicated story, we follow the fortunes of the Dutch submarine SCHADUW from her escape to Britain as the Nazi Germans invade Holland, to the war in the Pacific.




Day, Thomas Fleming (1861-1927)

The Adventures of Two Yachtsmen : transcribed from the note-book of the late John Gordon Falcon. Rudder, 1907. 118 pages





The Four and the Fire: or Five Nights in a Yacht Club. Rudder, 1907. 167 pages

Collection of tall tails set in the yachting world.




Day, Holman (1865-1935)

Blow the Man Down; A Romance of the Coast. Harper, 1916. 461 pages

Yacht captain works among the rich and beautiful, falls for boss's daughter, gets in trouble, and quits to work as freighter captain.




De Camp, L. Sprague (1907- 2002)

The Golden Wind. Doubleday, 1969. 288 pages

Exploits of Eudoxos of Kyzikos, as he attempts to establish a commercial route from the Mediterranean to India during the time of the Ptolemys. He leads two profitable expeditions across the Indian Ocean, only to be robbed and imprisoned by the Ptolemys on his return in each case, then attempts to reach India without going through Egypt by circumnavigating Africa. Novel inspired by actual events.




The Arrows of Hercules. Doubleday, 1965. 297 pages

While not strictly nautical has considerable nautical content, including two sea voyages and a stint where the protagonist is employed at the world's first naval research laboratory in ancient Syracuse.




The Hand of Zei. Ace, 1963 (serialized 1950). 113 pages

Takes place on the planet Krishna, one of Sprague De Camp's favorite venues. Krishna is inhabited by people very like humans, except for being oviparous and having "antennae" on their foreheads that function as organs of smell. The planet is politically and technologically about like Europe in the 16th century, and interstellar law has placed an interdict on the importation of more advanced technology. This makes Krishna an ideal place for De Camp to introduce Terran heroes, who can disguise themselves as Krishnans and undertake some derring-do, while maintaining a more sophisticated attitude towards it all. In this book Zei, a princess of one of the Krishnan kingdoms, has been kidnapped by pirates who haunt a Sargasso Sea-like swamp in the middle of one of the major oceans, studded with the wrecks of ships of various origins and kinds. The Terran hero has the task of rescuing the princess. Since she can only be reached by sea, the job gives De Camp, who is interested in the history of technology, a chance to describe the ships and techniques the hero encounters. At one point a crisis is handled by changing the rig of a ship, under way, to a more efficient one that the local seamen are unfamiliar with. A good yarn, with a fair dose of seafaring and nautical hardware.


De Felita, Frank

Sea Trial. Avon, 1980. 270 pages

An Orgy in the Caribbean aboard the sailboat PENNY DREADFUL turns into horror as something evil this way comes.




de Selincourt, Aubrey

Family Afloat. Routledge, 1940. 352 pages




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