The Prize Master (Doubleday, 1959) is the second in Harvey Hailsip's Midshipman Tommy Potter trilogy of naval adventure. The first book, Seaman Named Jones, is a fictionalized account of John Paul Jones daring cruises against England in 1778 and 1779. In The Prize master, Midshipman Potter, parts company with John Paul Jones, allowing Haislip to shrug off the need for strict historicity and move into true historic naval fiction.
Potter, while executing a commission for Benjamin Franklin and trying to aid Jones, finds himself willy-nilly serving, along with the faithful Reilly, aboard an American-flagged privateer hunting in the English Channel. Potter's real challenge begins when he is given command of a prize to sail back to France.
Haislip offers a rousing adventure with a surprising resolution. There is plenty of action, even if it is set in the rough and tumble culture of a privateer, rather than the disciplined world of most naval fiction. The book has a long passage "aboard" the Royal Navy as well. Haislip does as well with this as with American craft. It was hard to put this one down.
Description of: The Prize Master
Author: Harvey Haislip