cover image King, Ship and Sword

King, Ship and Sword

Dewey Lambdin, . . St. Martin?s/Dunne, $25.99 (358pp) ISBN 978-0-312-55184-1

Alan Lewrie, intrepid sailor and charming scoundrel, is back in Lambdin’s superb 16th Royal Navy adventure. Lewrie is an endearing character—hero, philanderer, smuggler, spy: a courageous naval officer unencumbered by high morals or indecision—and during the brief peace between England and France in 1801, while on a reconciliation vacation to Paris with his wife, Lewrie encounters old enemies and former lovers, all seeking revenge for past injuries and insults. A botched audience with Napoleon Bonaparte sets assassins on Lewrie’s trail, and after they kill someone close to Lewrie, he vows bloody revenge. When war resumes in 1803, he is given command of a heavily armed frigate and another chance to go to sea and kill Frenchmen. The harrowing sea adventures that follow take Lewrie and his crew from France to Louisiana and put Lewrie’s seamanship and quick thinking to the test. As expected, Lambdin leaves just enough loose ends in this swashbuckler to ensure there will be another sequel of intrigue and cannonballs. (Mar.)