Title: The Chains of Albion (The Reluctant Adventures of Lt. Martin Jerrold, bk. 2)
Author: Edwin Thomas
Length: 297 pages
Genre: Historical, naval fiction
Plot Basics: After helping to uncover the smugglers, Lt. Martin Jerrold is given a post commanding an old British ship that's holding French prisoners of war. When one of Jerrold's charges escapes, he must go after him on the directive of Lords of the Admiralty, the Princess of Wales and several other players. Martin, recognizing his own shortcomings as a naval officer, turns to Post Office agent Nevell for help. The two pursue the prisoner across the British countryside in a series of strange happenstances that could only happen to Jerrold. Jerrold sort of reminds Word Nerd of a 1800s version of Arthur Dent.
Banter Points: Word Nerd's trying to figure out why she really likes these books. She's not a naval fiction fan (though these make her want to reconsider Patrick O'Brien and co.). She's not a huge historical fiction fan. But Thomas and his reluctant hero Martin Jerrold provide smashing good reads. Funny, exciting plot is woven throughout with a strong cast of characters (Word Nerd's fond of the elusive Nevell and Jerrold's special lady friend, Isobel.)
Bummer Points: This book ends on a bigger cliff hangar than the first book.
Word Nerd Recommendation: These probably should be must reads for naval fiction fans, but also are appealing to a wider audience. Don't overlook these.