The Crooked Albatross and Sweet Fanny Adams is a great read! In the hilarious prologue, we meet the infamous pirate, Thompson, and learn of the Loot of Lima buried on Cocos island in the eighteenth century. We also learn that Leigh Cross can spin a wild and salty yarn along with the best of story-tellers. The author’s excellent skill with dialogue transforms the reader into a bespectacled fly on the wall–quivering in fear one moment and quaking with laughter the next- but always in the midst of the action.
Fast forward a century or so to the 1980s and we meet the modern treasure hunters. Characters who for one reason or another find themselves aboard the Sweet Fanny Adams heading toward Cocos island. There’s Longstreet, a timber cruiser, restless for a change in his life, and in his relationship with Delia, a troubled red-head headed for trouble, and Van Dusen, “mister bludy-fookin’ International Historical Salvage Limited himself” and also the money behind the expedition. The rest of the crew: MacTavish, the oldest, orneriest, horniest, politically-incorrect orphan ever to go to sea. Three Brits, each with their own agenda. The cook and his wife from Medicine Hat sign on for an adventure, hoping for a share of the treasure, and giving the author an opportunity to indulge in delectable menus hardly ever tasted at sea:
“Wren found it. A sow erupted from the underbrush followed by seven of her young. Wren managed to clout one right behind its ear with her shovel. They gutted it and took it back to the ship.
Roger was delighted. It would make a fine change from a diet of corned beef hash and grunt fish. Roasted suckling pig for dinner! Roger spent the afternoon cleaning, scalding, and scraping bristles from the pig. Then he popped it into a blazing hot oven to make the skin into delicious cracklings.
After twenty minutes he reduced the heat and slow roasted it to perfection. The last of the apples had become soft so Roger made a bowl of hot, cinnamon-spiced applesauce. They ate every scrap of the piglet and chewed on the bones. They wiped up the last of the applesauce with Roger’s fresh, hot biscuits, dripping with butter.”
Once you get your teeth into this novel, you’ll want to lick the platter clean!