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George MacDonald Fraser was renowned for his legendary Flashman series featuring the incorrigible knave Harry Flashman, a soldier in the British army. After Fraser's death, his children discovered an unpublished first novel locked away in his study: Captain in Calico
. In this lively stand-alone, Fraser introduces the real-life antihero Captain John Rackham. Called Calico Jack, he was the first to fly the skull and crossbones on a black flag, an illustrious eighteenth-century pirate who marauded the perilous Caribbean seas.
One tranquil evening in the Bahamas, Calico Jack, wanted on counts of piracy, makes a surprise appearance at the governor's residence and asks for a pardon for his men. When Jack last set sail from the Bahamas two years prior, he left behind a beautiful fiancee he hopes to win back. A deal is brokered, but what the governor does not reveal is that while Jack was off looting the Spaniards, his beloved has become betrothed to a new man--the governor himself. Jack discovers he has been deceived and, in a fury, publicly threatens the governor, then locks swords with a notorious Frenchman outside a pub. All seems lost until a buxom Irishwoman, Anne Bonney, comes to his rescue and sets about planning one of the most audacious lootings the Caribbean has ever seen.