CINNAMON AND GUNPOWDER by Eli Brown
Food and pirates works surprisingly well in this sometimes funny, sometimes scary, sometimes poignant tale of a kidnapped chef and the female pirate who keeps him ala Scherazade until he can no longer make a meal that tantalizes her taste buds. Of course the problem of missing ingredients (what pirate ship carries fresh herbs and truffles?) and a cramped and skimpy kitchen make his dilemma interesting. Chef Owen and Pirate Hannah are clearly drawn characters you will like. The supporting pirate crew is equally well drawn. Life aboard ship is made plain.
The plot also concerns the opium trade with China and the scoundrel British captains who control it. The enemy pirate – The Fox – turns out to be related to Hannah in more ways than one. The final battles are tense with the final ‘winner” difficult to guess.
A good outing for a debut author. I look forward to his next book.
4 of 5 stars