A Bottle of Rum (A Spider John Mystery)

Written by Steve Goble
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

In 1723, former pirates Spider John Rush and his comrade Odin are enjoying good tankards of ale at the Crosskeys Tavern in the port town of Lymington, England, when they are interrupted by a scream. The tavern owner is discovered dead, and Spider John runs after the suspected murderer. While investigating the crime, Spider John hears of a kidnapping of a group of pirates and suspects their wayward young friend Hobbs is among those captured. He and Odin feel they must join with a group of former pirates under the command of Half-Jim Fawke, a dangerous man and a former acquaintance. They are, curiously, guarding a local home for mentally ill patients. Spider John suspects that Hobbs may be held prisoner.

This novel is the third book in the Spider John mysteries. I have read the previous books, and this novel did not disappoint. Although part of a series, this novel can stand alone. The writing is crisp while the plot moves forward at a steady pace from chapter to chapter. Although there are several mysteries that abound throughout the tale, be prepared to be absorbed in the story with its well-placed action and suspense. I anxiously look forward to the next book in the series.