The Continental Risque

The Continental Risque by James L. Nelson Mutinous crews, flying cannonballs, howling winds, and billowing topsails are a few of the scenes that James L. Nelson has put together in his latest book of high-seas adventure. The Continental Risque, the last book in Nelson’s fictionalized trilogy about America’s Revolution-era navy, describes what may have occurred on the decks and in the cabins of America’s first fighting ships, a sorry collection of converted merchant vessels that were crewed mostly by landlubbers and criminals.

Nautical history enthusiasts will delight in Nelson’s accurate portrayal of life at sea. The characters swear as real sailors should, drive their ships hard, and have a rollicking time.

Pocket Books (Simon and Schuster), New York, N.Y.; 372 pages; $14.

By Ocean Navigator