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Privateersman Books In Order

Publication Order of Privateersman Mysteries Books

The Devil's Own Luck (1991) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Dying Trade (1993) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Hanging Matter (1994) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
An Element of Chance (1995) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
The Scent of Betrayal (1996) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle
A Game of Bones (1997) Hardcover  Paperback  Kindle

The Privateersman Mysteries series is a well known nautical historical fiction series written by one of the prominent Scottish authors of historical fiction books, Savid Donachie. This series is comprised of a total of 6 books, which were released between the years 1991 and 1997. In addition to the elements of historical fiction, author Donachie has also included mystery aspects as well. The series is mainly set at the time of the initial years of the conflict between the French and the Britishers at the end of the 18th century. All the books of this series feature the chief protagonist in the role of Harry Ludlow. Initially, he is shown as serving in the Royal Navy, but is forced to leave due to some reasons. After this, he joins his brother named James Ludlow in his privateering business. Author Donachie began writing this series in the year 1991 and also published its first book titled The Devil’s Own Luck in the same year. He concluded the series after publishing its sixth book in 1997 as he was busy with his few other popular novel series.

The debut novel of the Privateersman Mysteries series written by Donald Donachie is entitled ‘The Devil’s Own Luck’. It was released by the Trans-Atlantic publishers in the year 1993, after being initially published in 1991. This historical fiction book, also featuring thriller and mystery aspects, is set in the year 1793 during the French-British conflict. Author Donachie has described the main characters of this book as Harry Ludlow and his brother James Ludlow. Harry Ludlow goes on to become a privateer with his brother after being forced to leave the Royal Navy. The brothers begin looking after their business of hunting the fat vessels of trading. But, most of their time is taken by the intrigues and mysteries around them. After a short while, the Ludlow brothers go on to board the Magnanime, the 74-gun of the Royal Navy. Harry learns that the captain of the vessel is one with whom he has engaged with swords previously. But, his feud with the captain takes a pause when he comes to know that James has become the suspect in the murder of an officer. At the beginning of the story, the Ludlows are shown as the co-owners of a fast sailing schooner known as ‘Medusa’. After leaving the Navy, Harry Ludlow looks forward to using Medusa for preying on the merchant ships belonging to France. For this purpose, he even obtains a Marque Letter from the British Government.

While sailing through the English Channel, the Medusa comes across a naval frigate of France, known as the ‘Verite’. Harry Ludlow has the suspicion that this frigate has been sent to prevent him from carrying out his privateering activities on his Medusa. He decides to lead it in the direction of the English fleet that block the French coast, with the hope that the frigate will be taken down by a warship of England. But, to his bad luck, Harry goes on to intercept the English ship called Magnanime, which is captained by his old adversary named Captain Oliver Carter. Because of his old feud with him, Carter does not take any action until the Verite destroys the Medusa badly. Then, he proceeds to sink the Medusa and takes the Verite as his prize. Following the destruction of the Medusa, the Ludlow brothers are forced to board Magnanime as passengers. Shortly after, James Ludloe gets accused of killing the ship’s first lieutenant. Harry begins to investigate in order to find out who the real killer is. During the course of the investigation, he encounters a few life threatening events before finally solving the mystery. Author Donachie has filled the story with numerous adventures of naval battles. He has described the situation of life on a naval ship. The engaging mystery made the readers keep turning pages till the very end, which helped the book become a great success.

The second installment of the series is titled as ‘The Dying Trade’. It was released in 2001 by the McBooks Press, after its first release in 1993. In this novel, it is shown that Harry Ludlow arrives in the seething, squalid Genoa port along with James Ludlow, his younger brother and business partner. At the port, they find a small tension. They come to know about the hanging of an English sea captain, due to which the sailors of England and France have started catching the throats of each other. One of the closest friends of the Ludlows, Admiral Hood, asks Harry to find out the captain’s murderer. When they arrive in Genoa with this intention, several unidentified men attack them. Luckily, some sailors from a privateering vessel save the Ludlows. Along with the investigation, Harry looks to buy a ship so as to start his privateering activities once again. His search leads him a Count Toraglia owned ship called Principessa. Toraglia is among the city’s leading nobles, but is very sick at the moment. While checking out the Principessa inside out with their servant named Pender, the Ludlows find a dead captain in the main cabin of the ship. And once again, they are chased by several men, who are dressed the same way as the ones who attacked them before. From here on, the story goes on to show many twists and turns as it progresses further. Once again, author Donachie has depicted the naval battles in an excellent way. The intriguing mysteries in the story move ahead with the series of attacks, kidnappings, etc. These things keep Harry Ludlow fighting and trying to come out of the jeopardy recently acquired by him by agreeing to come to the Genoa port. It is only by scrolling to the last pages of the book that the readers come across the solution to the mystery related to the captain’s death as well as to the other deaths. Before that, the readers find themselves caught in the pursuit of Harry Ludlow to find the truth as well as make efforts to teach his attackers a great lesson of life. Overall, the book appears to be a light and fun read with an element of mystery in it. And as seen in all the other adventure stories, this story too deals with double dealings, engaging sea battles, and intrigue. The critics lauded author Donachie for his setting of the late 18th century and early 19th century and the depiction of the fight between the British and the French to take control over the trade on the coasts of Europe.

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