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Book summary and reviews of The Montevideo Brief by J. H. Gelernter

The Montevideo Brief by J. H. Gelernter

The Montevideo Brief

A Thomas Grey Novel

by J. H. Gelernter

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  • Published:
  • Aug 2023
    256 pages
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Book Summary

A secret treaty will determine whether England can survive against Napoleon, and Captain Grey races across the Atlantic to intercept a treasure fleet.

Vienna―June 1804. At the glittering debut of Beethoven's Third Symphony, a Spanish diplomat meets with Captain Thomas Grey, agent of His Majesty's Secret Service. In exchange for a gigantic bribe, the Spaniard discloses Spain's darkest secret―the actual terms of the Treaty of San Ildefonso with France.

Spain's neutrality in Napoleon's war on Britain is only a ruse to keep the British Navy from attacking the great treasure-armada now gathering in South America. Spanish warships will depart Montevideo, Uruguay, carrying 2,000 tons of gold; when the gold is safely in Madrid, Spain will declare war on Britain and ally with France to divide the British Empire between them. Britain's only hope is to sink or capture the treasure fleet, and the responsibility of delivering that blow falls to Grey. As Jack Aubrey would have said in such a crisis, "There is not a moment to be lost!"

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Media Reviews

"A treat for spy novel junkies and devotees of British history alike." —Kirkus Reviews

This information about The Montevideo Brief was first featured in "The BookBrowse Review" - BookBrowse's membership magazine, and in our weekly "Publishing This Week" newsletter. Publication information is for the USA, and (unless stated otherwise) represents the first print edition. The reviews are necessarily limited to those that were available to us ahead of publication. If you are the publisher or author and feel that they do not properly reflect the range of media opinion now available, send us a message with the mainstream reviews that you would like to see added.

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Reader Reviews

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prem singh yadav

The Montevideo Brief A Thomas Grey Novel
This is the ideal gift for anybody enthusiastically for fiction and English history. Written in the year 1804, the sharp recounts the tale of the brave and creative Chief Thomas Faint, a previous English Popular Marine and serious master of Her Excellency's Mysterious Association. His crucial goal was spilling over with gold and significant metals. The bet of getting a Spanish oceanic power before it appears at Europe is brilliant as a perplexing game plan among France and Spain guarantees battle against England after the assets are orbited.

In the fundamental quarter of the book, the writer sets up the clarification superbly, while at the same time splashing the peruser in an immense scope of English decency, creating, social shows, and the hypnotizing mechanics of cruising ships. Weak's at first lighthearted demeanor towards cruising stands separated from the making sense of areas of strength for and that fans out when he helps out a really conveyed US Prepared power unit.

The story accommodatingly curves around together experience, robbery and overall interest, keeping perusers stuck to their seats. However the honorable language and love for the English Space won't draw out an up close and personal response from everybody, the carefully embedded Shakespearean implications and brilliant talk add a layer of importance and refinement to the story.

The part of the novel is the center section, where Weak leaves on a development of side missions on the way to Montevideo. This part is spilling over with reinforcing scenes which will make the perusers anxiously turning the pages.

Gelernter's skilful blend of fiction and history is superb. This adds a layer of legitimacy to the story, causing it to appear to be an all around exciting record of great importance of the Napoleonic Conflicts.

Assuming you're searching for a through and through exciting read that will move you back into the universe of power, interest, and high-risk maritime departures, The Montevideo Brief ought to be at the most imperative spot of your sorting out once-finished.

The Montevideo Brief by Gelernter is a mind blowing blend of styles, making it a gift for both inspector fiction darlings and admirers of English history. Coming up next two or three focuses that part its allurement for these gatherings:

The English Privileged and Social Practices: This book offers a captivating examine the universe of the English decency, including their way of life, standard practices, and scholarly interests of the period. This point will clearly interface with perusers who regard unquestionable setting and the complexities of the time.

Premium and Rush: As an expert fiction story, Montevideo Brief offers a drawing in and energizing plot piled up with overall interest, secret work and avoidance. The trip to stop a Spanish Group over-burden with gold adds a piece of energy that will keep up with secret dears lowered all through the book.

Chief Thomas Faint: The legend, Official Weak, is a convincing and inventive individual, making him a stunning figure for criminal expert fiction dears. His occupation as a principled master of Her Excellency's Mysterious Association passes a sprinkle of surveillance on to the story, adding more noteworthy importance involved.

High language and thoughts: The main parts smooth language and splendid Shakespearean implications, making an environment of refinement and scholastic happiness. This point of view will most likely allurement for perusers who regard expressiveness and creative references.
Taking into account everything, Montevideo Brief effectively fulfills the interests of both criminal specialist fiction sweethearts and aficionados of English history.

Katherine P. (Post Mills, VT)

Pirates, Spies. Exotic Locations and the Sea-Who Could Ask for Anything More?
Loved this book especially since I read it while vacationing at the shore, where several days the weather was dirty--very atmospheric for the setting of the book. The sea, that is, not the Maine coast rather than the seas of the Southern Hemisphere. There is so much history in the book but couched in an engrossing story of seafaring men working on behalf of the Crown of England. A straightforward tale of international espionage turns into a tale of piracy, growth of a new nation, America and her navy, and the impressment of men into the British navy. There is name dropping--James Monroe is our Ambassador to the Court of St James. Napoleon is making dirty deals with Spain, supposedly neutral. Britain is trying to retain her rule of the seas. And all of the action revolves around Captain Thomas Grey, a marine in the Secret Service and his interaction with many men of various ranks and loyalties.
The author tosses in so much of the history of the time--the Elgin Marbles of Greece, the relationship between Beethoven and Haydn, the writing of the Eroica Symphony and its premier performance, the piratic empire of Jean LaFitte, the development of Dept. of Discovery that employed Lewis and Clarke, the building of sea-faring vessels. Oh, and the rules governing the original form of tennis, court tennis, which are mind-boggling! Not to mention the finer points, no pun intended, of the art of dueling with sabers.

There is so much interesting packed into this relatively small novel, that it is worthy of a second read to absorb it all. So much more than just a run of the mill tale of sea battles between sailing ships bearing huge, recoiling cannons, though there is a bit of that, too!

I'm going to have to find the other two Thomas Grey novels--I hope they take place before his interesting wife, Paulette, has died.

Alyce T. (San Antonio, TX)

A Tall Ship Adventure
The Montevideo Brief is a beautiful history of the days of pirates and privateers. It was a fun book to read as you followed Grey on his journey. Covering the United States, England, France and Spain and their involvement in intelligence gatherings, ship seizures and interactions on the high seas shapes outcome of today's world. The treasures of Spanish explorers being transported by ship caravan is the prize to establish country allegiances in peace and war. I would like to read more books by J.H. Gelernter.

Catherine O. (Altavista, VA)

Adventure with an Unstoppable Hero
The Montevideo Brief is not my usual type of novel and I didn't really know what to expect. I was very pleasantly surprised. The novel is very engaging and moves rapidly from adventure to adventure. I learned a lot about the rise of Napoleon and the efforts of other countries to thwart his plans. I wondered if joining this series at book #3 would make it difficult to follow characters, but just enough background was provided to make it understandable without bogging down the narrative. Thomas Grey is a very ingenious and compelling hero. I think that anyone who enjoys historical fiction would like this series.

Ora J. (Anacortes, WA)

The Montevideo Brief
To my delight, the author J.H. Gelernter opened The Montevideo Brief with a performance of Beethoven's Third Symphony. I find a seat, next to an Englishman, near the back of the Grand Festival Hall of the Palace Lobkowitz in Vienna. As the performance begins, I am guided phrase by phrase through the drama of each movement. For the next two-hundred pages I follow the Englishman, Thomas Grey, on his missions of secrecy protecting the British Empire from the advances of Spain. Off sailing the Atlantic from Britain to Brazil, with many exciting conflicts on and between shores, the adventure held me in its grip. Thanks to the author's great use of historical detail, I felt I had a taste of living in the early eighteen hundreds.

Barb F. (Monmouth, OR)

Montevideo Brief
This is an historical spy novel by JH Gelernter occurring in 1804, just after the American Revolutionary War. Included in this swashbuckling series of adventures are interesting little tid bits of British culture, and European tradition of the time that I thought were especially interesting. Examples are descriptions of a Beethoven concert, and sword dueling to the death between gentlemen. These 1800s cultural practices were embedded into the main story in a very effective way. The main plot was fast paced and fun and seemed a bit like a treasure hunt at sea.

This book is a whale of a tale. It is almost like Harry Potter for grown ups. Our hero "Mr. Grey" dashes from one super calamity to the next, whether it be a venomous snake that he takes on or the siege of a pirate's fortress, or even a full on battle at sea with cannons blazing. Of course he always comes out the other end unscathed.

I appreciated the authors historical note at the beginning and end of the book. I would recommend this book especially to sailors and military personnel as there was extensive marine terms and language used - but that did not prevent me from enjoying the story. The plot was easy to follow even for the land lover. The ending clearly implies that there is another book coming in this series.

...24 more reader reviews

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Author Information

J. H. Gelernter

J. H. Gelernter lives in Connecticut. He is the author of the Thomas Grey novels, Hold Fast and Captain Grey's Gambit.

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