Victoria McKernan Crooked Island

ISBN 13: 9780881849981

Crooked Island

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Smart-witted detective Chicago Nordejoong and her sailing partner and lover, Alex, barely survive a hurricane while en route to Crooked Island, only to find themselves entangled in a covert scientific project

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From Publishers Weekly:

Exhilarating nautical passages make up in part for lack of credibility in the latest adventure, after Point Deception , of sultry diver/detective Chicago Nordejoong, whose heritage is both Viking and Caribbean. McKernan poses an ambitious hypothesis: What if the British royal line was disrupted during Jacobean times, and the true heir to the crown was dispatched to a Caribbean exile? At Mayaguana, not far from the site of an early 18th-century shipwreck, Chicago and her adventurer/lover Alex join up with a salvage captain, two American brothers, a spunky kid and, unbeknownst to the team, a representative of the British Government and a member of a right-wing offshoot of the Scottish National Party. All are anxious to find the iron coffin of James Francis Edward, son of James II who, born in 1688, was switched with another infant and spirited away to Jamaica, where he grew up, married and produced an heir. McKernan adroitly navigates flashbacks to the stormy history of the Stuart line, where plots and alliances were abundant, but she is adrift in present day Scottish politics. Most bizarre are moments featuring the real-life character of Prince Charles, who suspects a plot to usurp his right to the throne and gets in on the action in a charmless, plodding manner. Although the plot is ingeniously conceived, too many tacks stall the narrative's momentum.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Kirkus Reviews:

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. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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Victoria McKernan
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