James L. Nelson: The Maddest Idea



Several months have passed since Lexington and Concord and the Battle of Bunker Hill Now George Washington s new ragtag colonial army is besieging the British in Boston There s just one problem the army only has enough black powder for 9 cartridges per soldier Hardly enough for a skirmish leave alone a battle And if a cannon duel should flare up between the two sides well the colonials precious power would be uickly depleted and army would be defenseless So much for the nascent revolution defeated before it could startEnter Isaac Biddlecomb captain of the armed brig Charlemagne and a man haunted by seeing so many of his shipmates killed in a ship to ship battle before the book opens When George Washington learns that the British have a cache of black powder in Bermuda he sends a reluctant Biddlecomb to steal the powder and bring it back to Cambridge Although he agrees to the mission Biddlecomb has mixed feelings because there s a price on his head for leading a mutiny onboard a British ship see Book 1 Force of Arms and if Biddlecomb is captured he ll be hanged But no one in Bermuda will recognize him right Wrong The mission is actually a trap to capture Biddlecomb set by the British and one of the five patriots who know about the missionMeanwhile back in Cambridge Washington learns about the trap and sends his aide Major Edward Fitzgerald of Virginia to find and kill the traitor Fitzgerald has his own problem he s a high ranking officer but has never been tested in battle and considers himself a sham He also discovers that ferreting out the traitor is difficult than he imagined And he falls in love with Virginia Stanton the woman Biddlecomb loves but is too shy to tell her of his loveOf course Biddlecomb escapes and returns to Boston in a series of hair raising adventures up until almost the last page that would be unbelievable if handled by a less skilled author than Nelson The book isn t all action though because Virginia and Fitzgerald have to work out their relationship The Biddlecomb Viriginia Fitzgerald problem is only a very small part of the story and I wouldn t really call it a love triangle which I m really tired of It is an importan. Late summer 1775 General George Washington discovers that his cache of unpowder has dwindled to a mere nine shots per man Desperate he adopts the plan designed by a roup of Rhode Island patriots send a ship to Bermuda to capture British powder known to be there.

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Women in his books it is after all set mostly on ships of war the main female character is believable and engaging She s clearly not just some after thought that the author added so he could spice things up a bit The love that is blossoming between Virginia and Captain Biddlecomb is very endearingI am very much looking forward to reading the third book in the series Another ood historical maritime novel Second in the Revolution at Sea Triology which later became the Revolution at Sea Saga due to the inclusion of a 4th and 5th book A pretty solid story about some events in American history I was not familiar with While the US wars at sea were never as long and involved as British there still were some interesting events and this trilogy examines a few during the US Revolutionary WarThe second in the trilogy Maddest Idea deals with the protagonist Isaac Biddlecomb coming to terms with being a part of the Revolution and becoming a full war time sea captain There are some events that are a bit unlikely his crew learns to be experts and work together a bit too swiftly but overall it is exciting and clearly written by someone familiar with the seaBy this time so many sea novels have come out that its not easy to present the reader with something new or surprising about combat at sail but Nelson manages to pull it off several times again Isaac isn t so much a man like Hornblower who seems to know everything about sailing far better than any others but he s like James Bond who makes the right response in a flash to the slightest opportunity and turns that to his advantageOverall entertaining and laced with interesting historical events and personages The sixth book read of this author An exciting page turner The Biddlecomb character is like a Dirk Pitt of the 18th century Second book in the trilogy Not as much fun as the first book A sea faring novel about the Revolutionary War with extremely accurate and authentic nautical renderings Great historical fiction about navy warfare during the Revolutionary War Similar to the first book enjoyable historical fiction if a little over dramatic in the descriptions of the character s emotions I liked it. His aide de camp Major Edward Fitzgerald to hunt the turncoat down Meanwhile Biddlecomb must rely on native cunning and seamanship to free his men and his ship and to bring to the army near Boston the unpowder that is the lifeblood of the nascent fight for libert.

T part of the story thoughI m a reat fan of C S Forrester s Horatio Hornblower series I ve read it three times and wasn t sure how Remembering and Repeating good Nelson s series would be When I saw this book in a used bookstore I decided toive it a try After a slow start I found myself engrossed in the story At first though I had trouble I do know some nautical terminology but Nelson flings the terms like hail in a hail storm futtock shrouds scantlings Leonardo and the Mona Lisa Story gantline clewline Nelson used to be a professional suare rig sailor so those terms come easily to him He does include alossary in the back of the book and I found myself looking up term after term which interrupted the reading Then I had an idea stop looking up the terms and just Mona Lisa go with the flow I did and just sailed along and enjoyed the adventureI usually don t jump into a series without reading the previous books Fortunately Nelson provided just enough details from Force of Arms for me toet oriented to how that story affected this one And even though I now know how that book ends I m Fly Away Home (South Africa Series, going to read itJust a side note Nelson lives in Maine as do I In June my wife and I learned Nelson was performing at the Colonial Pemauid State Historic Site in Pemauid Maine as the pirate Dixy Bull We both love 18th century history and went to see both the site and Nelson Nelsonave a fun performance in full pirate regalia that appealed to both adults and kids If you re in Maine and have a chance to see him I highly recommend it There were so many twists in this book it was hard to tell which idea was the maddest However I really did like how the stakes just kept Soldier O - Bosnian Inferno getting ramped up to a satisfying climactic confrontation I love James L Nelson s books I ve been a big fan of sea stories like Horatio Hornblower and the AubreyMaturin series for some time However Nelson s writing is much easier to read and I would thinkratifying for the modern audience His Revolution at Sea series is also from the American perspective It s nice for once to read historical fiction from this side of the pondI always like a little romance in my books but I never expect much from books that aren t written as romances While Nelson doesn t have a lot of. As well as their recommendation for the man to lead to the mission Captain Isaac Biddlecomb But the plan is a trap set by a traitor among the patriots and one from which even Biddlecomb cannot escape With treachery threatening the revolution Washington dispatches.

James L Nelson 1962 is an American historical nautical novelist He was born in Lewiston Maine In 1980 Nelson graduated from Lewiston High School Nelson attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst for two years and then transferred to UCLA with the ambition of becoming a film director Nelson his wife Lisa and their daughter Betsy lived for two years in Steubenville Ohio while