The continuing adventures of Dr.Maturin and his bff, Captain Aubrey of the Royal Navy. This is a particularly endearing look at them, because both are in fine form. Aubrey is able to showcase his incredible seamanship, strategy, and leadership, while Maturin's naturalist excusions are a humorous counterpoint to his intelligent manipulations. The humor of their strange shipmates and odd customs of the Navy, the obvious intimacy with Maturin's foibles, the affection shown by all of them toward each other--I really loved it.
Three things spoiled my enjoyment: Patrick Tull is generally a good narrator, but his voice for the Italian Mrs.Fielding is atrocious, so bad and artificial that it sounds like a parody. Being party to the French Intelligence officers' meetings is fun for the reader, but made me impatient when Maturin didn't figure out the various French plots. Particularly annoying was his continued trust in Ray, because there were numerous clues that Ray was involved with the French, and Maturin had absolutely no reason to trust Ray. And thirdly, the book ends right in the middle of a spy plot and right before more ship battles! I could hardly believe the book ended in such an awkward spot--at first I thought I'd downloaded it wrong!