Thundering guns shiver the Atlantic to open the ninth Alan Lewrie British naval yarn (Jester’s Fortune, 1999, etc.) set during the Napoleonic Wars. This will be Lewrie's last adventure aboard the Jester, since in the opening battle against the Spanish fleet at Cape St. Vincent, Lewrie and Jester handle themselves so well that he’s promoted to commander and, with Jester in dry-dock, given a new frigate to command. When Lewrie returns home to wife Caroline to see to his lands and business affairs, taxes are high, wages low, and the Industrial Revolution has been jump-started by England's war needs. The industrial upheaval indeed accounts for scary mutineers, who run a red flag up ships at dock, and a call for higher wages. Lewrie discovers that even gathering a crew for His Majesty's Ship Proteus is a huge problem.
With a Damme and a twinkle, Lambdin’s chewy prose demands the reader parse echoes of an earlier day. Rich fun.