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Cannonball Read #12: Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew by Brian Hicks

Yes, it IS another maritime disaster book. Do you think they'll ever have a maritime disasters-themed Jeopardy that I could go kick ass on?

Ghost Ship: The Mysterious True Story of the Mary Celeste and Her Missing Crew was another meticulously well-researched book from author Brian Hicks. You may have heard the story of the Mary Celeste--the ship was found floating intact in the middle of the ocean, her crew having disappeared leaving behind no explanations or clues to their whereabouts.

The story takes us from the ship's creation, though "the mystery" in 1872, and then covers the aftermath, including various inquiries into the circumstances of the crew's disappearance as well as the stories, legends, and hoaxes that were born from the tale. The author uses letters, court documents, newspaper stories, and many other primary sources to develop the story and its historical context. We are introduced to all the important characters and all the pertinent facts, and then we must try to figure out the answer to the mystery. At the end, Hicks unveils his own very convincing theory of what might have occurred on the doomed ship (Spoiler: it does not involve ghosts, aliens, pirates, krackens, or the Bermuda Triangle.)

This is a great read--Hicks moves deftly through the history, presenting convincing facts and debunking common myths while still remaining entertaining and enthralling. It's a fascinating tale of mystery on the high seas.

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