U.S. Exploring Expedition linguist and sheriff's deputy Wiki Coffin sails with the famous convoy of ships toward Rio de Janeiro, with no idea of the encounter the fates and the winds have set in motion.  As the great flagship Vincennes leads the fleet under the dubious command of mercurial Lieut. Charles Wilkes toward a dramatic entrance in the port of Rio, careless maneuvering leads one of the vessels to run afoul of a Salem trading ship.
As it turns out, the trader is owned and commanded by the famous and larger-than-life Captain William Coffin, father to Wiki, and voyager of all the seven seas (plus a few he has invented in the course of telling tall tales).  The encounter sets in motion a series of confused events that reunite Captain Coffin with his illegitmate half-Maori son and that, before they are through, will see Wiki charged with the murder of one scientist, and his father with the killing of another.  When Wiki is reprieved, he begins an investigation into what really happened,  working feverishly to clear his father's name before the Expedition sails on, leaving his father at the mercy of an unforgiving Brazilian court --and the coldblooded revenge of the real killer.
Read A Review:

The mystery thickens up splendidly, racketing along with ... questions about exactly who is who, and why, and plenty of drama, both at sea and ashore. It is a pleasure, too, to meet Wiki Coffin's American father, a Massachusetts shipmaster whose advneture, highly embellished, are spread around wardrooms and below decks wherever sailors gather ... So we have not only an intricate murder puzzle but an unfolding family history, a splash of raomance, plenty of crackling good dialogue, and a lively, enjoyable seafaring yarn as well. 

Joan Curry, The Press, February 2007

[Wiki Coffin] begins an investigation ... and finds himself on a winding trail of adventure and danger.  Just how did the scientist die?  What did his symptoms point to?  Follow the trail with Wiki in a well told tale of life at sea and meet the many interesting people who cross his path.  A complicated tale that will keep you reading.  A surprise ending awaits you.  Enjoy.  I did.

Anne K. Edwards, New Mystery Reader, June 2006

Everyone's favorite seafaring half-caste Polynesian sleuth must rescue his father from a murder charge ... Shades of Patrick O'Brian live in Druett's interesting historical details, local color and suggested reading list.  The whodunit's not bad, either.

Kirkus, September 2006