A King's Trade: An Alan Lewrie Naval Adventure

Dewey Lambdin, Author . St. Martin's/Dunne $25.95 (339p) ISBN 978-0-312-31549-8

The 13th title in Lambdin's popular series finds salacious Royal Navy captain Alan Lewrie in hot water for "liberating" a dozen slaves from their Caribbean plantation and putting them to work on his ship, the HMS Proteus . Facing the prospect of court martial and a civil trial, Lewrie reluctantly agrees when Zachariah Twigg of the Foreign Office suggests a scheme that might save his career: recasting the incorrigible captain as an abolitionist hero. Noting that Lewrie is "a much easier man to extol at long-distance," Twigg arranges for him to convoy some merchantmen and an unlikely floating Russian circus between St. Helena and Cape Town. As usual, Lambdin (The Captain's Vengeance ) provides realistic detail of naval life in the late 18th century, but here the plot is slender and the action brief and sporadic. The circus ship offers a potential romantic interest in an exotic "raven-haired wench" named Eudoxia, but nothing comes of it. There are two skirmishes with French raiders—the second a decisive victory for Lewrie. Even so, the cloud over Lewrie's career lingers, perhaps to be dissipated in the next title in a series that has proven popular with fans of nautical fiction. (Sept.)

Reviewed on: 07/17/2006
Release date: 09/01/2006
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