The Money Ship

Written by Joan Druett
Review by Linnea Tanner

This historical adventure/thriller centers on the pirate Hochman’s treasure trove of doubloons, which purportedly sunk with his ship near a haunted islet in an estuary in Borneo. The story primarily revolves around Jerusha, the seafaring daughter of Captain Michael Gardiner, and Nelson O’Cain, a nobleman’s bastard and seaman. The fast-moving maritime tale begins with Jerusha as a six-year-old girl and spans more than a decade across three oceans and a myriad of exotic ports. The route for finding clues to the location of the legendary money ship in this unique story is complicated with treachery, adultery, murder, Malayan politics, and an arranged marriage.

Joan Druett has written a multi-layered novel with splendid prose and vivid descriptions of the various locations. The author shines with historical details of shipping, economics, and trading during the early 19th century. The seemingly disconnected stories and clues in the storyline weave together like a tapestry and culminate in a satisfying and riveting climax. However, at the beginning, the points of view drift back and forth among various characters, at times making it difficult to follow the storyline and to distinguish the players. Later, about a third of the way through, the story becomes more engaging and intriguing when told primarily from the perspectives of Jerusha and Nelson O’Cain.

The Money Ship will delight readers who love seafaring adventures rich with historical detail and a dash of romance.