When young Maria Hallett meets the worldly Sam Bellamy and they fall in love, the stage is set for heartbreak, a tragic betrayal, the wreck of a fabulous pirate ship, and a fiery conclusion. Set in colonial America and ranging from Boston to Cape Cod to the Caribbean, The Lost Tavern, a historical fiction, encompasses in 250 pages the worlds of two lovers, pirate crews, and an evolving New England culture of merchants, seamen, and already vanishing Indian tribes. All of these worlds come together in one way or another at Samuel Smith's island tavern, which was rediscovered and excavated in the 1970's. During the excavation a shattered skull was discovered in the basement, a detail that figures prominently at the end of the novel.
The tale is based on the legendary escapades of the notorious pirate, Sam Bellamy, and his relationship to his young lover, but it employs a large canvas. While taking liberties with the legend, the novel is true to the historical context, to pirate lore, and to the dangers they face both on the seas and on the land.