CROOKED ISLAND by Victoria McKernan

CROOKED ISLAND

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Two hundred and fifty years after the corpse of James Francis Edward, who may or may not have been the rightful King of England, sinks with the Christiania in the coral reefs off the Caribbean island of Mayaguana, Annalee McGuire, insatiably curious 12-year-old daughter of archeologist Jack McGuire, discovers a mysterious necklace her father traces to the claimant. The logical next step -- an expedition exploring the Christiania and raising the coffin -- puts the McGuires in touch with redoubtable diver Chicago Nordejoong and her sailing partner and lover, Alex Sanders (Point Deception, 1992; Osprey Reef, 1990), but also brings them to the attention of Her Majesty's Secret Service, which is not amused by the prospect of the coffin's reappearance, and of a fanatical Jacobite clan within the Scottish National Party, which plans to crown Edward's descendant, oilman/distiller Cory MacClannon, King of Scotland. To make matters more interesting, the Jacobites have infiltrated the MI5 damage-control mission; MacClannon isn't eager for royal robes; and Prince Charles wonders if he hasn't had enough of his. Despite tiresome flashbacks to 1673, 1687, 1688, 1692, 1710, and 1714, the present-tense yarn is splendidly improbable, filled with fantastic derring-do. And don't turn your back on that 12-year-old, not for a minute.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1994
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Carroll & Graf