The Continuing Voyages of HMS Surprise:
The Massacre of Innocents. Mainsail Voyages Press, 2014. 464 pages
Captain Pat O'Connor, Lieutenant Duncan Macleod and Doctor Simon Ferguson return from half-pay to command the frigate HMS Surprise, returned to service after long years 'in ordinary' at Plymouth Dock. HMS Surprise escorts Lord Byron to Cephalonia and then aids the fledgling Greek navy against the crushing Ottoman fleet superiority. An extended edition was released in 2022.
Freedom or Death. Mainsail Voyages Press, 2015. 322 pages
HMS Surprise, aiding the fledgling Greek navy as a letter-of-marque, is vastly outnumbered and so runs before before brutal Turk invasions ravage the defenceless islands of Psara and Kasos. Doctor Simon Ferguson, left ashore, his fleeting study of island flora rudely shattered, flees across the mountainous interior pursued by Turk beserkers intent on his capture and death.
The Fireships of Gerontas. Mainsail Voyages Press, 2016. 321 pages
Captain Patrick O’Connor leads HMS Surprise and her battle-weary crew of tired veterans once more into the fray to support their Greek brothers-in-arms. Doctor Simon Ferguson, traumatised by an intense summer of conflict and casualties, struggles valiantly to cope with the rising and bloody burden of killed and wounded shipmates.
The Aftermath of Devastation. Mainsail Voyages Press, 2017. 322 pages
After two years of bloody fighting and heavy losses, after enduring the hurricane of 1824, HMS Surprise struggles to make Falmouth port in a dreadful state, very severely damaged and sinking, dozens of her crew wounded and injured, all her officers and men utterly exhausted. Will she be hulked or even broken up? Doctor Simon Ferguson, traumatised by so many deaths, has had enough and leaves for his home in the Isles. The First Lord ponders the frigate's future as her men are paid off. Battered and broken, HMS Surprise's very existence is in doubt.
Mathew Jelbert. self published, 2018. 320 pages
After delivering her cargo of the Tsar’s gold to a secret hideaway, unable to make way against strong headwinds and closed within a narrow strait, the frigate is surrounded by a closing Turkish fleet, her destruction or capture seemingly inevitable. A miraculous escape is made through shallow, uncharted waters. At last, temporary repairs made to substantial damages, Surprise and her tender, the schooner Eleanor, make their way home, heading for Falmouth, yet the fog of Cape St. Vincent presents a dreadful catastrophe for them.
The Tears of Despair. self published, 2019. 320 pages
The Bank of England faces insolvency after the run on private banks has cleaned out all cash reserves. With only a very few days left before national panic sets in, Captain Patrick O'Connor is called back to duty, his first mission being to rescue the country from the looming catastrophe. Afflicted by ghastly nightmares, tormented by disturbing memories of the bloodshed and horrors experienced whilst fighting the Turk oppressors, the stalwarts of the barky struggle to summon the courage and determination to return once more to the fray as the Admiralty tasks them with delivering vital supplies to succour the starving population of the besieged Greek town of Messalonghi.
Howard had a Submarine. Lion, 1988. 1 volume
Howard's exploration of the underwater world in his uncle's submarine leads him to the discovery that God has made a world full of color and variety.
Lawrence, Iain (1955- )
High Seas Trilogy:
The Wreckers. Delacorte, 1998. 196 pages
An adventure yarn set on the Cornish coast in the 18th century when ships were lured onto the rocks. Shipwrecked after a vicious storm, fourteen-year-old John Spencer attempts to save his father and himself while also dealing with an evil secret about the coastal town where they are stranded.
The Smugglers. Delacorte, 1999. 183 pages
In eighteenth-century England, after his father buys a schooner called the DRAGON, sixteen year old John sets out to sail it from Kent to London and becomes involved in a dangerous smuggling scheme.
The Buccaneers. Delacorte, 2001. 256 pages
John Spencer, now 17 and a seasoned sailor, takes his shift steering the Dragon (purchased by his father in The Smugglers) and spots a lifeboat. On their way from England to the Indies carrying a cargo of wool, the Dragon's crew members get their first taste of impending danger after they rescue from the lifeboat a stranger whose mysterious history connects him to a crew massacred by a band of pirates led by the malicious Captain Bartholomew Grace. As fate would have it, the Dragon ends up playing a deadly game of cat and mouse with Grace's vessel, the Apostle.
Lawrence, Steven C. [pseud. Lawrence A. Murphy]
A Northern Saga. Playboy, 1976. 286 pages
Story of the Liberty Ship JOHN MASON and its crew as the ship accompanies a Murmansk convoy in May 1942, and returns to Iceland during the sailing of PQ17. Convoy tale with the focus on the merchant marine.
Lawson, L. M. (Lori M.)
Green Flash. Paradise Cay Pub., 2000. 256 pages
In Zihuatanejo, Mexico, a couple discovers a woman's body floating in the ocean. Ordered to turn in a video camera found on the body to authorities as evidence, they become involved with several of the members of the seafaring community.
Lawson, Robert (1892-1957)
Captain Kidd's Cat; being the true and dolorous chronicle of Wm. Kidd, gent. & merchant of New York, late captain of the Adventure Galley; of the vicissitudes attending his unfortunate cruise in eastern waters, of his incarceration in Newgate Prison, of his unjust trial and execution, as narrated by his faithful cat, McDermot, who ought to know. Set down and illuminated by Robert Lawson. Little, Brown, 1956. 151 pages
For young readers.
Lear, Edward (1812-1888)
The Owl and the Pussy Cat. first published in "Nonsense songs, stories, botany, and alphabets". Robert John Bush, 1871.
Fatuous poem from the Nonsense man.
Leasor, James (1923-2007)
Mandarin Gold. Heinemann, 1973. 251 pages
English trader finds fun and fortune running opium into China during the 1830s. James Leasor, who writes stranger-than-fiction history, tries his hand at historical fiction.
Lederer, William J. (1912-2009)
Ensign O'Toole and Me. Norton, 1957. 247 pages
Basically a series of didactic tall-tales, the book purports to be about a brilliant, spunky, eccentric yet strangely normal friend of Lederer's from the Naval Academy who serves on the China Station before WW II, in Washington after the war and fighting commies later. Starts out light, but unfortunately the later chapters degenerate into a thinly disguised and strident anti-communist diatribe. Basically, the same message as in The Ugly American: ordinary Americans are oblivious to the desperate struggle of the unsung heroes who battle communism. Includes a semi-autobiographical account of the author's own time serving as XO of a gunboat in China.
Le Guin, Ursula K. (1929- )
Sur : A summary report of the Yelcho expedition to the Antarctic, 1909-1910. The New Yorker, February 1, 1982
Fantasy account of an all South American female expedition to Antarctica, the first ever to reach the South Pole.
Lehman, Ernest (1915-2005)
The French Atlantic Affair. Atheneum, 1977. 468 pages
Two rocket scientists, unemployed after the Apollo downsizing decide to recoup their fortunes. They plan and carry out a hijacking of a luxury liner in the Atlantic.
The Homeward Run : A story of German sailors, their battles and their loves under the shadow of defeat. Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1957. 224 pages
Translation of Die Heimfahrt.
Lennep, David van
Ironclad. Poseidon, 1994. 131 pages
This novel in an attempt to bring to life the raison d'etre for the ironclad HMS WARRIOR. The time is 1862, a year after she was first commissioned, and British relations with the French have deteriorated to such an extent that a French squadron is steaming towards the Thames to emulate Admiral de Ruyter's feat of two centuries previously. The Royal Navy is alerted, gives chase and the French are brought to action amongst the shoals and shifting sands of the Thames estuary. The technical aspects of WARRIOR's innovativeness are woven in as the drama unfolds.
Lenz, Siegfried (1926-2014)
The Lightship. Hill and Wang, 1962. 125 pages
The captain of a lightship on its last shift before it is taken out of service, must confront three killers who board the ship when their boat breaks down. Originally published in German as Das Feureschiffe in 1960.
Leonard, Constance (1923-2019)
The Marina Mystery. Dodd, Mead, 1981. 159 pages
After Tracy James boards the yacht "Ballyhoo," a body is discovered, floating near Tracy's boat, and she becomes caught in a web of danger and intrigue, somehow involving her sometime lover, Pete.
Leroux, Gaston (1868-1927)
The Floating Prison. T.W. Laurie, 1923. 254 pages
Originally in French. Entered for the sake of completeness. A nautical novel only because it is set aboard a French Naval Transport taking convicts to Devils Island. They take over the ship.
Silent Squadron. Pinnacle, 1972. 188 pages
The Nazis are operating a secret submarine base in Ireland, so British commandos set forth on a mission to secretly destroy it.
A Sailor of Napoleon; a tale of the sea. Harcourt, Brace and Co, 1927. 314 pages
This is the story of a young man who carries out several important missions for Napoleon. In the process he goes from Midshipman to Captain. There are several interesting battle scenes. This is what might be called a boy's book. Not much attempt is made to capture the language of the period. The author was probably influenced by G. A. Henty who is far superior. The illustrations are very nice.
Levin, Burt L.
Greyfox Underway 1944 : a good Atlantic submarine sea story. Premier Books on Demand, 1992. 323 pages
Lewis, C. S. (1898-1963)
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader : a story for children. Geoffrey Bles, 1952. 223 pages
In the third book of Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian sails through magical waters to the End of the World. Fantasy for young readers.
Lewis, David D.
The Mahogany Battleship. R.B. Luce, 1966. 312 pages
The Defense Secretary decides that the Department of Defense should be reorganized so that there would be only one service, one uniform and one chief of staff. This is a road to disaster in the eyes of Jeff McCarthy Chief of Naval Operations; decorated hero of two wars. McCarthy uses his knowledge of Washington and its politics (learned from behind his desk, nicknamed the Mahogany Battleship) to fight this change.
Leyland, Eric (1911-2001)
Crash Dive : the Story of a Submarine. E. Ward, 1961. 128 pages
For young readers.
Lincoln, Joseph Crosby (1870-1944)
Cap'n Eri: A Story of the Coast. Burt, 1904. 397 pages
Fishing off the New England coast at the turn of the century.
Rugged Water. D. Appleton, 1924. 385 pages
Classic novel about the US Lifesaving Service.
Out of the Fog. D. Appleton-Century, 1940. 360 pages
Captain Mark comes across a dead body in the fog off Cape Cod in this mystery by the noted sea author.
Lincoln, Joseph Crosby (1870-1944) and Lincoln, Freeman
The New Hope. Coward-McCann, 1941. 407 pages
It's August of the year 1814 in the Cape Cod town of Trumet and the British have bottled up both harbors, the one on the Massachusetts Bay side and the one on the ocean side, until not even a small fishing boat can get through the blockade. Under the leadership of Captain Dole and his young companion, Jonathon Bangs, the townspeople have invested their money and their labor in outfitting a merchant vessel and manning her with a crew. They have encouraged gossip around the Cape, which they know the British blockaders will hear, that they are simply overhauling the craft, to be used as a coastwise trader when the war is over. But the real purpose of the New Hope, as the privateer is named, is to try to slip out some dark night after a store of powder has been smuggled aboard and to run through the blockade at the risk of every life aboard and every cent invested in her.
Liston, Robert A.
The Seraphim Code. Tom Doherty, 1988. 343 pages
Sloane had left the Central Security Agency and made it clear to everyone that he was out of it. Completely. Until a KGB agent dies on Sloane's suburban doorstep, and someone takes a shot at him. Now Sloane's running again, a target of both U.S. and Soviet intelligence services. The dying man had told him something, whispered the words Seraphim Code to him, and those are words no one was supposed to hear, words known only to The Committee. While the retired spy runs for his life on land, helped only by his wife Freddy, a Russian submarine, carrying a full load of nuclear missiles, runs silently beneath the waters of the Atlantic, cruising toward an unexpected rendezvous with disaster.
Sweet Reason. Houghton Mifflin, 1974. 210 pages
Vietnam era dark comedy. Describes the first three days that the EUGENE EBERSOLE, a superannuated WWII-era destroyer, spends off Yankee Station during the Vietnam conflict. Naturally, the ship has an incompetent, glory-seeking captain, misfit officers and crew, and orders incompatible with its capabilities. Would be funnier if it did not try so hard.
Commodore Levy: A Novel of Early America in the Age of Sail. Texas Tech University Press, 2014. 672 pages
This richly detailed historical novel closely follows the actual events of Levy's life: running away from his Philadelphia home to serve as a cabin boy at age ten; his service during the War of 1812 aboard the Argus and internment at the notorious British prison at Dartmoor; his campaign for the abolition of flogging in the Navy; and his purchase and restoration of Monticello as a tribute to his personal hero, Thomas Jefferson.
Grania: She-King of the Irish Seas. Crown, 1986. 437 pages
Fictionalized story of Grace of Umhall, notorious pirate of Connaught, as she rules the Irish Sea, fights English ships, and preserves Irish independence.
Llewellyn, Sam (1948- )
George le Fanu Gurney series:
Gurney's Revenge. Arlington Books, 1977. 235 pages
George LeFanu Gurney is disgraced by the machinations of an enemy, Ottway. He is forced to resign his commission as a lieutenant in the Royal Navy. Seeking to rehabilitate his reputation and destroy his accuser he embarks on nautical adventures from the Mediterranean to the South China Sea, and back to England. Takes place 1820-22. Llewellyn's first novel. US title: Sea Devil.
Gurney's Reward. Arlington Books, 1978. 269 pages
Gurney, reputation restored, now married and running a shipyard is forced by the Admiralty to take to the seas once more to rescue a Dervish that aided him in SEA DEVIL. Numerous nautical adventures in Greece during the War of Greek Independence. US title:
Gurney's Release. Arlington Books, 1979. 320 pages
On returning home to Sea Dalling, Gurney becomes involved in a duel - the outcome is death, and with it news of an old enemy. The blood spilled that day was the first of a long trail stretching across the Atlantic to the Jamaican plantation-house at Silverwood, and on by the old slave routes to the fever-swamps of the unexplored Niger delta, And as the trail grew longer it became clearer, until it bore the unmistakable mark of one Mathias Otway, merchant, hypocrite and thief, making a final desperate bid for power and riches, while teetering on the brink of insanity.
Blood Orange. Summit, 1986. 255 pages
Blackmail, corruption and lethal accidents beset a high-tech catamaran crew in the Round Britain race.
Sea Story. St. Martin's, 1987. 396 pages
UK title: Great Circle. A cast of thousands sort of book about an around the world sailing race. Exciting, fast reading.
Dead Reckoning. Summit, 1987. 229 pages
A boat of his own design takes down Charlie Agutter's own brother. Now he sets sail on a personal mission: to track down a murderous saboteur.
Death Roll. Michael Joseph, 1989. 246 pages
A pretty convoluted plot. English sailor fights kidnappers, saboteurs, and real estate speculators on and off the water. Features exciting storm while delivering a yacht and match races between the hero and his nemesis. Great.
Hell Bay. Arlington, 1980. 465 pages
Irish doctor, fleeing a murder charge, gets wrecked on the Scilly islands. He falls in with the wreckers and smugglers on Tresco, is forced to flee to America, where he becomes rich through mining gold. Returning to the Scillys he confronts his past and learns the secret of his ancestry. Purportedly based on actual events. Marginally nautical.
Blood Knot. Michael Joseph, 1991. 307 pages
A former reporter plans a quiet retirement fixing up his wooden cutter and living on it with a crew of troubled kids, but a murder followed by attempts on his life lead him to the Baltic on a race against death in an open boat.
Deadeye. Summit, 1991. 281 pages
British yachtsman on his way to compete in the "Three Bens" sailing/climbing race on the west coast of Scotland bumps into an old fishing boat and finds love, murder and a deadly secret.
The Rope School. Walker, 1991. 176 pages
It's 1813 and, like many children, Kate Griffiths has a hard life. Then things get much harder. She stows away on a Royal Navy ship, is mistaken for one of the crew, and finds herself chasing an American man-o-war. Revised by the author in 1995. US title: Eye of the Cannon.
Riptide. Michael Joseph, 1992. 310 pages
Mike Savage builds a boat for his French sailing star friend. The boat is wrecked, his daughter threatened, friend disappears and he tries to solve all these problems.
Clawhammer. Pocket, 1993. 373 pages
"..thriller set in a world where everyone professes the best of intentions and no one is quite what they seem. Where a warlord is a democratic leader and food stolen from the starving is legitimate currency. Where a poet has to turn a lost cause into a violent crusade -if he wants to stay alive." (from the jacket blurb) Oh, and it seems to involve sailing a boat across the Atlantic.
Maelstrom. Pocket, 1994. 402 pages
A former anti-whaling activist gets involved with ex-Nazis, ex-KGB agents, Mideast terrorists in a deal to get art objects out of Russia. The plot takes he and his yacht to the Norwegian coast on a whaling expedition.
Iron Hotel. Michael Joseph, 1996. 346 pages
Dire circumstances force a ship's captain to take a cargo of illegal Chinese immigrants across the ocean in an ancient rustbucket named GLORY OF SAIPAN.
Lockridge, Richard (1899-1982)
Inspector's Holiday. Lippincott, 1971. 192 pages
Inspector M. L. Heimrich's wife, Susan, contracts pneumonia during a bad winter. Because of her slow convalescence, the doctor recommends a holiday in a warmer climate, so they take a cruise on an Italian vessel leaving New York for the Mediterranean. The accommodations and food are superb, and the other passengers interesting -- until Sir Ronald Grimes disappears. Grimes and his lovely young wife are returning to England on his retirement from the British Embassy. Unfortunately he is fated not to "raise roses -- or cabbages" as he had planned. The ship's captain calls on Heimrich for help and they discover a British Special Branch agent strangled in his cabin. Cruise ship routine forms a background while Heimrich tries to untangle a web of international intrigue.
Lodwick, John (1916-1959)
The Cradle Of Neptune. Heinemann, 1951. 285 pages
Set at the Royal Naval College, Dartmouth between the world wars, this novel, is a study of young people from all walks of life, but all of a certain class, and their interaction as they are moulded into potential naval officers.
Ship's Boy with Magellan. Doubleday, 1960. 185 pages
Orphaned Pedro Molino ships out on Magellan's circumnavigation as a cabin boy to avoid getting killed by his Uncle, who wishes to steal the boy's estate. Young readers, written as part of a fiction series featuring Catholic world history.
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