Caribbee: A Kydd Sea Adventure

Written by Julian Stockwin
Review by Jeff Westerhoff

During the Napoleonic Wars, Captain Thomas Kydd, aboard HMS L’Aurore, is assigned to the Caribbean and the Leeward Islands station. He is to concentrate his naval activities on the capture of French privateers who are attacking English merchant convoys. Soon he is ordered to join the Jamaica Squadron at Port Royal to protect valuable sugar cargo from landing in the hands of French privateers. He is ably assisted by his secretary, Nicholas Renzi, who also has a history (in previous books in this series) of spying on the French for the English government. Kydd is called to task to discover the location of a French base used to attack British shipping in the Caribbean islands.

This novel is the 14th in the successful Kydd sea adventure series. The story is fast-paced and a fun read for those who enjoy British nautical books, such as those written by Forester and Patrick O’Brian. The nautical terms can be a little confusing for those readers who don’t know them (even though Stockwin includes a glossary), but I still found that his knowledge of the British Navy, the locale, and the language used by the characters overshadowed any problems with the difficult terminology. Stockwin is able to make the reader feel he has stepped into the past and has become a part of the ship’s crew. I have read most of the novels in this series and will continue to enjoy Captain Kydd’s adventures in the future. I highly recommend this book for those who enjoy a good sea yarn.