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The Spithead Nymph by Jan Needle‘The Spithead Nymph’ is a gritty, noir-inspired naval adventure that will appeal to fans of Patrick O’Brian and C.S. Forester. It is the third in the series of William Bentley thrillers that portray the world of the Nelson era-navy in an extremely bleak and unromantic light.

Following his actions during the operation against “the wicked trade” of smuggling, Bentley finds himself charged with treason. By a cruel twist of fate, he is offered the chance to escape incarceration by serving as first lieutenant to Richard Kaye, the new captain of his old ship Biter, on a voyage to Jamaica.

But the woman he loves is also bound for the Indies, he discovers, sold as an indentured servant to a depraved and savage planter. Though hardened against the darker side of life, the stakes are now personal, and the maze he has to struggle through grows more and more complex.

There are no simple heroes and villains in Bentley’s world, and the book takes a remarkably clear-eyed look at the horrors and moral ambiguities of the slave trade. Both at sea and on land, the action is compelling.

THE SPITHEAD NYMPH is available from Amazon.


“Rich, compelling characters and vivid imagery. There are no white knights here and no one-dimensional villains.” — Publishers Weekly

“A fresh voice in maritime fiction… gritty, realistic, thoroughly entertaining [Needle] does not flinch from … the uglier aspects of life aboard a man-of-war… just one of the reasons his work stands out from the crowd.” — James L. Nelson, author of the Brethren of the Coast Trilogy


Jan Needle has had more than forty books published, including the best-selling ‘Death Order’, ‘The Death Card’, ‘Nelson: The Poisoned River’ and ‘Nelson: The Dreadful Havoc’. His last ebook before this was Napoleon – The Escape, published simultaneously in English and German. He also writes for the stage, TV and radio, as well as humorous books and academic criticism. He was born in Britain’s ‘premier naval port’ of Portsmouth, but now lives in the North of England. He has five children, plays a lot of music, and has five boats. An author interview is due in The Big Thrill in January on publication of his latest thriller The Bonus Boys.