The Aubrey-Maturin books are finally available as eBooks, which is very convenient on cold winter nights when one finds oneself in a foul, foul mood. The Surprise sails from the penal colony of New South Wales to address Franco-American schemes in the Friendly Isles. Clarissa Oakes, a remarkable convict woman, has been smuggled aboard. She is much admired. This is not entirely a good thing.