Tuesday, January 31, 2012
The following review appeared today in the on-line reviews from the Historical Novel Society:
Margaret Muir, Grindelwald, 2011, £11.60, pb, 236pp, 9781447670209
Anyone who knows me will know I devour anything with a Tall Ship theme—so I was excited to receive Floating Gold. Here is an example of how authors who, for one reason or another, no longer have their books in print with a mainstream publisher, decide to self-publish. Margaret Muir used to be published by Robert Hale, but with a backlist out of print, she decided to publish her books herself to keep them alive and in circulation. Good for her!
Floating Gold is a Georgian treasure hunt adventure. It is 1802 and there is a tentative peace between France and England. Captain Oliver Quintrell, as with many a sailor during times of peace, is ashore with no command and nothing to do. When he is offered HMS Elusive and a secret mission, he jumps at the chance to accept. He is bound for the Southern Ocean with secret orders, and his crew encounter storms, murder, and various adventures on the long voyage south. They reach their destination—and the treasure hunt proper begins.
The author knows her ropes when it comes to ships and shipping: the ship-board scenes are accurate and give a real feel of being at sea; her characters are believable—and the action, vigorous.
My only comment is that the edition I received had been incorrectly typeset with double spacing between paragraphs. While this in no way detracted from the story, it did spoil the look of an otherwise superb book—I believe it has now been re-typeset though, so all new editions reach full mainstream quality.
Had Floating Gold not been a republished, previously mainstream novel, I would have made this my editor’s choice. HNS rules state books must be newly published, however. So very highly recommended must suffice.
Posted by M. C. Muir at 9:12 PM