Tuesday, March 09, 2010

New and Noteworthy Fiction---A Friendly Little War

A Friendly Little War, John Sherman, Wild Wind Books, 484 pages, paperback, $20.00.

Whoever knew that Britain was a hair's breadth away from declaring war on America in 1862? When Charles Bartlett joined the Union army, he could have been forgiven for expecting the American Civil War to remain exactly that - American and civil. But that would have been to underestimate the complexities of nineteenth-century international politics, in which every country is a pawn in a game of diplomatic chess. From the moment he is sent on a spying mission to London, Bartlett is caught up in an adventure that finds him negotiating the corridors of power in France, entwined in the fledgling Irish independence movement, negotiating with Spanish forces in Mexico, stealing top secret weapon designs, and much more. Despite this, he also finds time for romance and intrigue with his bewitching, aristocratic landlady in London. For lovers of historical dramas, action adventures, and old-fashioned romance novels alike, "A Friendly Little War" is an action-filled journey through the captivating world of nineteenth century diplomacy. Meticulously researched, the book immerses the readers in fascinating real world events and larger-than-life historical characters across two continents. When readers discover that the outcome of the American Civil War was largely determined in London and at sea, they will see history in a different light.

John Sherman spent five years researching and writing this book but sadly is not alive to see its publication. His widow and youngest son are publishing it in memory of the author and his second son - Ian - who passed away this year. Profits will go to The Stroke Association and Cancer Research. The author was born and brought up in Venezuela of American parents. He was the great-grand-nephew of the Civil War general, William Tecumseh Sherman (who has cameo in the book.) John Sherman was educated at Yale and Harvard Business School, spent most of his life in Latin America and London, and always had a keen interest in the Civil War.

CWL: A press release and sample chapter was sent my way. I liked the concept from the press release and I read chapter 16. The pacing is good, the characters well drawn, and their dialogue rings of the mid-19th century.

Text and Image Source: A Friendly Little War, Amazon.com

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