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Red Sky in Morning

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  30 ratings  ·  11 reviews
A World War's being fought in 1943, and Lieutenant Peter Maxwell wants in on it. But his assignment to the Liberty Hill Victory is not what he had in mind. An ammo ship commanded by racist officers and crewed by largely untrained and inexperienced African American sailors, it is a volatile floating powder keg in more ways than one.

In the wake of a deadly explosion and subs...more
Paperback, 271 pages
Published July 28th 2009 by HarperTorch (first published July 22nd 2008)
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Bonnie
Red Sky in Morning is one of the best World War 11 novels I have read. The novel opens in San Diego where Ensign Peter Maxwell and his new bride are starting married life with him directing the choir and feeling guilty for not being more active in the war. When he sees a posting for four officers to serve on an ammo ship, he talks his three friends, the Fantail Four quartet, into applying. They discover the duty involves being in charge of a ship of largely untrained African American sailors wh...more
Randy
Patrick Culhane is, of course, Max Allan Collins. In the afterword, he notes that it's based partially on conversations with his father, who was a white officer on a ship crewed by African-Americans during WW II.

Of course he wasn't involved in a murder investigation.

Ensign Peter Maxwell had an easy life in the early years of the war. His talents as a musician and singer kept him stateside and involved with a Navy choir and a singing group with three friends called the Fantail Four.

The novel inco...more
LJ
First Sentence: Ensign Peter Maxwell came slowly awake, teased by the expanse of ocean Shimmering with morning sun out the bay window of the studio apartment.

Peter Maxwell is tired of desk assignments and, along with three of his friends, wants to be part of the war, so they put in for sea duty on the first ship they can. They didn’t expect to be assigned to a munitions ship with a primarily black crew and bigoted captain and officers. When one of Maxwell’s friends is murdered, it’s up to him to...more
D.G.
This book is really more historical fiction than a mystery. It's an excellent portrayal of a segregated ship during World War II with a mystery thrown in as the climax of the story (the murder happens in the last part of the book.) Although it wasn’t what I was expecting, I still enjoyed it tremendously. This is a book about men (there’s only one important female character), racial relations, sexual orientation and war. With that combination of themes, no wonder one of the characters called the...more
David
This is a good story, a bit predictable, but quite suspenseful, nevertheless. The story centers on race relations on board an ammunition ship during World War II. An all-black crew is led by a very bigoted white captain, and four white commissioned officers. A few bigoted white non-commissioned officers also help to make the ship a virtual "powder keg". A murder is committed on board the ship, and a white officer and a black seaman--a police detective in civilian life--team up to solve the myste...more
Jennifer
I don't know what made me pick up this book, perhaps in error? It's a WW II Navy story about a newly married young man with musical talents. He and his Navy quartet decide to join the war efforts just after the bombing of Pearl Harbor. But they make a pact to stay together so sign up for a ship that will haul ammo. As it turns out all officers are white, but the crew is African-Americans. They must learn to trust one another in order to work safely together. The story was interesting but the lan...more
Jim
The name Patrick Culhane is a pseudonym for mystery writer Max Allan Collins. I like his writing style and that his stories are based on thorough research. This one uses the author's father's experiences in the Navy in World War II as the basis of the story. A murder is committed on board an ammunition ship in the Pacific and ensign Peter Maxwell has to solve the crime. Complicating matters is that the crew is African-American and the captain is a racist.
Mark
Always a fan of Max Collins, especially his Nate Heller series...at the author's suggestion, I've started his books under the pseudonym Patrick Culhane and enjoyed them both...The story is loosely based on Collins' dad's experiences in command of a Liberty Ship manned by an all-negro staff with a little murder mystery thrown in...FUN SUMMER READ!!!
Peter
I liked this book a lot. A pithy story of war, friendship and racial bigotry in the 40's, with a nice little mystery towards the end
Jessica
Takes a while to get moving, but plenty of solid history about the profound color barriers in the armed services during WWII.
Wisteria Leigh
2008-Summer,historical fiction,HNS,World War II,Port Chicago,African American Sailors,Military
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