The Western Mediterranean, 1756. An uneasy peace is about to be shattered as France’s greatest living general prepares an invasion force in Toulon; but where is it bound?
Captain Carlisle hails from Virginia, a loyal colony of the British Crown. As the clouds of war gather, Carlisle’s small frigate — Fury — is ordered to Toulon on a reconnaissance mission. If battling the winter weather in the Gulf of Lions is not a sufficient challenge, Carlisle must also juggle the delicate diplomatic issues in this period of pre-war tension while contending with an increasingly belligerent French frigate.
But Carlisle has additional problems unique to his colonial origins: he has no professional or political sponsors and an uninspiring group of followers, both of which are essential to a mid-eighteenth century naval career. How can a penniless second son from Virginia overcome these crippling deficiencies?
George Holbrooke, Carlisle’s reluctant master’s mate, cannot disguise his lack of enthusiasm for the tedium of the peacetime navy. His attitude changes as he experiences combat and personal danger, but can he persuade his captain that he has turned the corner? And can he achieve that vital promotion to commissioned status?
And then there is the beautiful Chiara Angelini, pursued across the Mediterranean by a Tunisian corsair who appears determined to abduct her, yet reluctant to shed blood. Can Carlisle solve this mystery and protect Chiara?
Fury shadows the French fleet as it sails from Toulon and reveals its true destination. Carlisle and Holbrooke are witnesses to the inconclusive sea-battle which leads to the loss of Minorca and engage in a thrilling and bloody final encounter with the French frigate.
The Colonial Post-Captain is the first in a series of novels that follow Carlisle and Holbrooke through the Seven Years War and into the period of turbulent relations between Britain and her American colonies in the 1760s. Edward Carlisle is a near-contemporary and colonial neighbor of the founding fathers of American independence. He will negotiate some interesting loyalty issues when British policy and colonial restlessness lead inexorably to the American Revolution.