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THE SIXTEENTH TALE IN DEWEY LAMBDIN'S CLASSIC NAVAL ADVENTURE SERIES
December 1801. The Peace of Amiens end the long war with Napoleon Bonaparte's France, but Captain Alan Lewrie, Royal Navy, is appalled by its consequences. First, he's been in the Navy since 1780 (most unwillingly, most of the time!) and at sea for the better part of nine years, since 1793, so what is a dashing and successful frigate captain to do with himself, if he's ashore on half-pay, and if so, for how long?
Second, and even worse, is where will Lewrie twiddle his thumbs and be bored to death until the war begins again, as he's sure it will? Will he idle in expensive, exciting London, or go home to his rented farm in Anglesgreen in Surrey, and rejoin his wife and in-laws who (mostly) despise him like the Devil hates Holy Water, where he knows as much of agriculture and animal husbandry as his two pet cats do of celestial navigation?
Peace and domesticity are hellish-hard on the rakehells!
Yet by the spring of 1802, Lewrie and his Caroline have somewhat reconciled (again) and are off to make a go of a second honeymoon – in Paris, France, of all places! But Lewrie's notion to return the swords captured from deceased French officers to their kinfolk gets turned into a formal presentation at a levee in the Tuileries, and a face-to-face rencontre with the First Consul Napoleon Bonaparte. Lewrie can't help spurring him into a "kick-furniture" rage, and he and Caroline must flee for their lives, with aid from the most unlikely source imaginable.
When war breaks out again in May of 1803, Lewrie has fresh orders, a new frigate, and a chance to punish and pursue the French, but it's no longer for Duty or King and Country – now it's personal!
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.