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    Thomas Dunne, St. Martin's Minotaur, April 2001

    Napoleon reigns supreme on the continent with only the British navy to oppose him, yet the navy is an imperfect barrier, especially against treason. Commander Bartholemew Hoare intends to spend some time on wedding festivities and honeymoon but is, instead, commanded to report to the admiralty for new orders. Someone has stolen secret plans for a British alliance in the north. In the wrong hands, the plans could result in tragedy--and who but the wrong hands would have taken them?

    Hoare, rendered nearly mute by a French musket ball, knows he can never serve the navy as captain of a fighting ship, but he also knows he can and must do his part, even if his part is digging into murder, theft, and treason. He soon finds himself embroiled in a plot to overthrow the British monarchy. When the conspirators take his family hostage, Hoare knows he must react, but how can he do anything until they are safe?

    Wilder Perkins writes a witty tale of an unusual man in critical times. Using a deft touch, Perkins introduces both historical figures such as novelist Jane Austen, and fictional characters such as Horatio Hornblower. The reader can delight in these glimpses of much loved names without being beaten over the head about them (too frequent in historical mysteries).

    Hoare is a well developed character with frustrated ambitions, a new marriage, and worthy set of sidekicks in his crew from the mysterious ship Royal Duke, and a set of bosses who demand performance no matter what the difficulties. London serves as the second major character and Perkins obviously has done his research and loves the subject.

    HOARE AND THE MATTER OF TREASON takes the reader on a rollercoaster ride of adventure, mystery, and violence skillfully intermixed with romantic interludes and low comedy. I found it a pleasure to read.

    Four Stars

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