Book Notification

Joan Druett Books In Order

Book links take you to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate I earn money from qualifying purchases.

Publication Order of Wiki Coffin Mysteries Books

Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Abigail / A Love of Adventure (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Promise of Gold (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Murder at the Brian Boru (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Money Ship (2017)Description / Buy at Amazon
Finale (2018)Description / Buy at Amazon

Publication Order of Non-Fiction Books

Exotic Intruders (1983)Description / Buy at Amazon
Fulbright in New Zealand (1988)Description / Buy at Amazon
Petticoat Whalers (1992)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Sailing Circle (1995)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hen Frigates (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
She Captains (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
Rough Medicine (2000)Description / Buy at Amazon
In the Wake of Madness (2003)Description / Buy at Amazon
Island of the Lost (2007)Description / Buy at Amazon
Tupaia (2010)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Elephant Voyage (2012)Description / Buy at Amazon
Eleanor's Odyssey (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lady Castaways (2015)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Notorious Captain Hayes (2016)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Discovery of Tahiti (2019)Description / Buy at Amazon

Jason Druett is a novelist and historian from New Zealand that writes historical fiction novels. Druett was born in the small town of Nelson but as a sixteen-year-old, the family moved to Wellington the capital of New Zealand. She went to Victoria University in Wellington, from where she graduated with a degree in English literature. Druett then went on to work as a teacher of English literature and biology for several years. She traveled extensively in her twenties and has been to many countries including Britain, Canada and several countries in the Middle East. In 1986, she got a Fulbright Scholarship and went to study in the US. In 1992, she became a writer/historian for “The Sailing Circle,” a museum exhibit in New York. During this time, she was also an artist in residence alongside her maritime artist husband at the William Steeple Davis Trust studio and house. While her husband exhibited and painted at major New York galleries, she wrote and researched maritime history for her historical novels. They would move back home to New Zealand in 1996 and lived in Wellington. In 2001, she won the John David Stout Fellowship and is now an associate at Victoria University.

Joan Druett’s journey to becoming an author started in 1984 while she was on the tropical island of Rarotonga. She slipped into a huge hole that had been left open after the removal of a tree trunk. Inside the hole, she found the remains of a young American whaling wife that had died in 1850 aged 24. This was a life-changing event as she became interested in whaling wives that culminated in five months of research in San Francisco, Mystic, Edgartown, and New Bedford funded by a Fulbright fellowship. From her research she wrote the nonfiction work “Petticoat Whalers.” She followed it up with a companion volume known as “She Was a Sister Sailor.” Druett researched and wrote several more titles while doing her residency at the William Steeple Davis Residency and her works won her several awards including the L. Byrne Waterman Award, the Best Book of American Maritime History John Lyman Award, and the Best to Remember Award by the New York Public Library. Her work with “The Sailing Circle” exhibition in New York also won the Albert Corey Award.

While she was studying at Victoria University, Wellington under a Stout Fellowship, she got interested in a disastrous whaling voyage that had a Pacific Islander crew and officers from the town of Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. From her research, she wrote “In the Wake of Madness” in 2003 which led to a strong interest in the life and times of Pacific Islanders that worked on American and European merchant ships. This grew her profile and funded by the Stout Trust, she researched in the East Indies, Australia, Europe, and the United States. “Tupaia” the biography of a Polynesian navigator was the winner of the New Zealand Post Book Award and was translated into French and Chinese. While she started writing as a forty-year-old, she soon became quite a prolific author. She has more than thirty published works in the “Wiki Coffin Mysteries,” “Promise of Gold” and “Money Ship” series alongside several single standing novels and nonfiction works.

Joan Druett’s “A Watery Grave” is set in 1838, a year when after more than a decade of meticulous preparation the United States Exploring Expedition is finally ready to leave for unexplored waters. The expedition has seven ships full of naturalists, mapmakers, astronomers, and of course the sailors that have to take them around the world. Wiki Coffin is coming along as the linguist of the expedition. He is half American half New Zealand Maori but can speak many languages, which makes him invaluable as the ships navigate the waters of the Pacific islands. But just before the ships leave port, Wiki falls victim to the racial bigotry of the times and is charged with committing murder when it is clear that he is innocent. The expedition leaves Virginia but before they disappear beyond the horizon Wiki is set free and exonerated of all charges allowing him to rejoin his colleagues. However, the catch is that the authorities believe the killer is hiding on one of the ships sailing out to the unknown. To get his freedom, Wiki had to be deputized so that he can help find the killer and if possible, arrest and bring him to justice. It is a novel filled with evocative atmosphere and detail that makes for a brilliant maritime story.

“Shark Island” the second novel of the “Wiki Coffin Mystery” series by Joan Druett follows the adventures of Wiki Coffin. Wiki is determined to put his skills to use helping the U.S. Exploring Expedition. Whether he is working as a deputy to the sheriff back in Virginia or as a translator of native languages, he is in the middle of most of the action that is inevitable on such an expedition. But then they stumble upon a wrecked ship that had been hunting seals and Wiki’s skills are put to the ultimate test. As soon as they board the wrecked ship, they discover a man that had stabbed between the shoulder blades with the dagger still in the body. What makes this very interesting is that it is Wiki’s nemesis and colleague who is the prime suspect in the killing of the enigmatic captain of the ship. He knows full well that Forsythe his nemesis is perfectly capable of committing the crime but does not think that he is guilty of it. He is bound by duty to prove it for the sake of the expedition. But he still needs to find the real culprit. Could it be the mutinous crew that took the law into their own hands? Maybe the captain’s dishonorable and dishonest actions from the past are finally catching up to him. Something is just not right about the ship and Wiki is determined to get to the bottom of the mystery and while at it bring a killer to justice.

Joan Druett’s “Run Afoul” sees the US Exploring Expedition heading towards Brazil where Wiki is about to have some amazing experiences. The Vincennes which is the flagship of the Expedition heads into the port of Rio where careless maneuvering by Captain Charles Wilkes causes it to collide with a trading ship from Boston. It is an embarrassment that all the sailors on the ship will have to live with for the rest of their lives. As it turns out, the ship is the property of Captain William Coffin who is father to Wiki. He has made quite a name for himself and is a larger than life character known all across the continents and seas. The collision results in a set of puzzling events that reunites the captain with Wiki his half Maori and illegitimate son. But it is not long before the elder Coffin is charged with murder and Wiki does his best to absolve him by unmasking the real murderers before his expedition sails away from Brazil.

Book Series In Order » Authors » Joan Druett

Leave a Reply