Saturday, April 07, 2012

Review for FLOATING GOLD by Michael Mendey

The following review appeared on and recently.
February 28, 2012
FLOATING GOLD by Margaret Muir

This review is by Malcolm H. Mendey

A nautical treasure that is, and a hunt that kept my attention from the first page to the last.

For writers of nautical fiction set in the Napoleonic period, the hiatus brought about by the `Peace of Amiens' offers a challenge. Ships were laid up or de-commissioned, officers and men found themselves unemployed. Not very much was happening at sea to keep the Royal Navy busy. Or was it?

So it was gratifying to stumble across Floating Gold, by Margaret Muir, I suspect an accomplished sailor as she has an excellent grasp of seamanship and, it must be said, an accomplished writer to boot. Born of a personal experience and a footnote from a news item, Muir has created a well-crafted and plausible tale of adventure on board one of HM's frigates, Elusive. An aptly named vessel, for an elusive treasure.

Oliver Quintrell, a young Post Captain on half-pay, is given command of a 38-gun frigate and secret orders. He learns his ultimate destination only when the ship is far from England. He does not learn the nature of the treasure until he reaches the destination noted in his secret orders and even then, it is less than obvious.

The ship and the crew deal with a succession of challenges, from the weather, to pirates, to murderers, all plotted superbly. Once returned to England, Quintrell's trials do not cease, as the author keeps the interest running as high as the seas to very nearly the final page.

Floating Gold is excellent story-telling. The principal characters are visual, immediately empathetic and human. This is an intelligent, well-structured and thoroughly enjoyable story, which for enthusiasts of nautical fiction is highly recommended.


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