Joan Druett

Joan Druett is a New Zealand historian and novelist, specialising in maritime history. She was born in Nelson, and raised in Palmerston North, moving to New Zealand's capital city, Wellington, when she was 16. She gained her Bachelor of Arts in English literature from the Victoria University of Wellington, and then worked as a teacher of biology and English literature for many years before publishing her first full-length book when she was 40. She travelled extensively in her 20s - including to Canada, where she lived for a while, Britain and the Middle East.

She went to America as a Fulbright Scholar in 1986, and returned there in 1992 as historian/writer for a museum exhibit, "The Sailing Circle: Seafaring Women of New York," living in Orient, Long Island, where she and her husband, Ron, a maritime artist, were artists in residence at the William Steeple Davis Trust house and studio. While Ron painted and exhibited at galleries such as Mystic Seaport Gallery, she researched and wrote historical novels and books on maritime history. Late 1996 she and Ron returned to New Zealand, and set up house in Wellington in 1997. In 2001 she was the John David Stout Fellow at the Stout Research Centre for New Zealand Studies, Victoria University, and is still an associate.

She is married to Ron Druett and has two sons. Ron is a well-regarded maritime artist and has illustrated many of her histories.. 

Series: The Wiki Coffin Mysteries
Year  Book  Comment
  Brethren of the Sea Wiki, aged 17, joins the crew of an elderly Nantucket whaleship. Days later, the captain dies in mysterious circumstances (Short Story)
  Fallen Wiki Coffin has another mystery to solve when a shipmate falls to his death at Fayal, in the Azores (Short Story)
1831 Murder in the Hold Wiki finds a clubbed body in the blubber hold, and is immediately accused of the crime (Short Story)
  Kidnapped Wiki is shanghaied onto a Sydney-bound brig (Short Story)
  Salt Wiki's sea-captain father finds a body in the ship's cargo (Short Story)
  The Bengal Tiger Wiki is a seaman on a brig, with a cargo of gunpowder, which catches fire (Short Story)
  King Cade Wiki Coffin's facility for languages serves the 19th century Maori seaman well (Short Story)
  Robber Crabs Wiki's get together with his old college friend has ruined his current existence (Short Story)
1838 A Watery Grave Ship's linguist Wiki Coffin is arrested for a vicious murder he didn't commit.
  Shark Island Wiki must investigate the murder of a ship's captain
  Run Afoul Wiki's father is on trial for murder, and he must unmask the real killers before the Expedition sails.
  Deadly Shoals Wiki must risk both life and reputation in pursuit of a vicious and determined killer who has set his sights on another target: the U.S. Exploring Expedition itself.
1839 The Beckoning Ice A sealing schooner hails the brig Swallow with a strange tale of a murdered corpse on an iceberg

AOS Naval Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Tupaia Captain Cook's Polynesian Navigator
  The Discovery of Tahiti It was not just a tropical port of call that Captain Wallis and his men found

AOS Other Non Fiction

Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  Rough Medicine Surgeons at Sea in the Age of Sail
  Petticoat Whalers Whaling Wives at Sea, 1820-1920
  Island of the Lost Shipwrecked at the Edge of the World
  Hen Frigates Passion and Peril, Nineteenth-Century Women at Sea
  In the Wake of Madness The Murderous Voyage of the Whaleship Sharon
  The Elephant Voyage Six marooned seamen survive against unbelievable odds
  Eleanor's Odyssey Journal of the Captain's Wife on the East Indiaman Friendship, 1799-1801
  Lady Castaways It was not just the men who lived on the brink of peril when under sail at sea
  The Notorious Captain Hayes The Remarkable True Story of of William 'Bully' Hayes, Pirate of the Pacific

AOS Other Nautical Fiction

Series: Promise of Gold trilogy
Year  Book  Comment
  Judas Island On the deck of the brig Gosling, Harriet Gray was forced to face an unhappy truth
  Calafia's Kingdom Frank Sefton is full of devious schemes to rob and mortify Harriet
  Dearest Enemy Jake Dexter could never imagine the danger involved for Harriet
Series: n/a
Year  Book  Comment
  A Love of Adventure
aka Abigail
Abigail Sherman, seeks love, adventure, and treasure around the world after she inherits her father's whaling ship
1848 A Promise of Gold English actress Harriet Gray faces claim jumpers, pirates, and thieves in a glorious quest for gold and love (also available as Promise of Gold Trilogy - see above)
  The Money Ship A novel that spans three oceans and a myriad of exotic ports
  Finale Captain Jake Dexter, a flamboyant adventurer and pirate invested the fortune he made

Modern Era Other Nautical Fiction

Series: Bacchante Series
Year  Book  Comment
  Daughters of the Storm An American billionaire kidnaps three young women
  Storm Swept Storm Swept is requisitioned by the British navy

The author’s official web site is

© 2008-2024 David Hayes (Astrodene)