The New Dawlish Chronicles Novel – Published 12th December 2020
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1884 – Captain Nicholas Dawlish departs for service in the Sudan, as told in Britannia’s Gamble, and his wife Florence will face months of worry about him. She’ll cope by immersing herself, as she’s done before, in welfare work for Royal Navy seamen and their families at Portsmouth.
And life in Britain promises to be humdrum, if worthy, at the start …
News of the suicide of a middle-aged widow evokes memories of her kindness when Florence was a servant. Left wealthy by her husband, this lady died a pauper, beggared within a few months, how and by whom, Florence does not know. The widow’s legal executor isn’t interested and the police have other concerns. Lacking close family, she’ll be soon forgotten.
But not by Florence. Someone was responsible and there must be retribution. And getting justice will demand impersonation, guile and courage.
Florence doesn’t hesitate to investigate blackmail and fraud in fashionable London. But a single wrong decision in circumstances far removed from that sophisticated world plunges her into an ever-deepening morass, where loyalty to her country and to seamen who served with her husband raises terrifying dilemmas. Old friends support her but old allies who offer help may have different agendas. In a time of shifting international alliances, in which not all the enemies she faces are British, she can be little more than a pawn. And pawns are often sacrificed . . .
Britannia’s Morass plays out against a backdrop of poverty and opulence, of courtroom drama and French luxury, of subterfuge, deceit, espionage and danger.
This volume also includes the bonus short story Britannia’s Collector, which tells of Nicholas Dawlish’s service as a young naval officer in a gunvessel operating off the coast of South America in 1866.