Wiki Coffin, linguist aboard the U.S. Exploring Expedition, the famous voyage meant to put America at the forefront of 19th century scientific discovery, brings many skills to his job. Whether he's translating native languages, assisting his good friend Captain George Rochester as unofficial first mate, or upholding the rule of law as deputy to the sheriff of the port of Virginia, Wiki is never far from the action aboard the seven ships that make up the expedition.
But when they encounter a wrecked sealing ship and its desperate crew on the shoals of remote, uninhabited Shark Island, Wiki has little idea just how many of his skills are about to be put to the test. As soon as they board the wreck, a dead body turns up with a dagger firmly inserted between its shoulder blades. And it's not just any dead body: the victim of the brutal murder is none other than the enigmatic captain of the doomed voyage. What’s more, Wiki's colleague and nemesis Lieutenant Forsythe is suspected of the crime.
Knowing full well that Forsythe is capable of such violence, Wiki nonetheless believes him innocent and is duty-bound to prove it for the good of the expedition. Was the murder a case of mutinous sealers taking the law into their own hands? Did the secrets of several mysterious long-ago voyages finally come back to haunt a dishonest and dishonorable captain? Or is Shark Island home to something more sinister than a few lonely goats? Something isn't quite right about the crew of the wrecked ship, and Wiki will stop at nothing to find out just what it is that they're hiding, and, in the process, unmask a vicious killer.
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Praise for Joan Druett and A Watery Grave
"What a terrific idea New Zealand naval historian Joan Druett had for a mystery series."— Chicago Tribune
"This impressive debut will appeal both to fans of historical mysteries and to Patrick O' Brian readers."— Booklist (starred review)
"Evoking writers from Melville to Patrick O'Brian, and incorporating fascinating snippets of historical and anthropological lore, this novel is a fine start to a series sure to appeal to lovers of historical mysteries and fans of sea adventures."— Publishers Weekly
"Noted maritime historian Druett blends strong plotting and scads of authentic maritime detail in an impressive debut that should appeal to fans of historical mysteries and Patrick O'Brian. Highly recommended."— Library Journal
"The debut of a smart, appealing hero whose tale unfolds amid lots of interesting cross-cultural, historical, and nautical detail."— Kirkus Reviews
In addition to the Wiki Coffin mysteries, JOAN DRUETT, an award-winning nautical nonfiction writer, is also the author of In the Wake of Madness: The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon. She lives in New Zealand.
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Book Description Minotaur Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 1st. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX0312334567
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0312334567
Book Description Minotaur Books, 2005. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # P110312334567
Book Description Minotaur Books. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0312334567 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW4.0135975