I read this book about 6-Oct-2002. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 1977. This note was last modified Thursday, 19-Dec-2002 16:30:44 PST.
This note contains spoilers for the book.
A topper for the previous novel. Ramage is now assigned the secret mission, which the previous captain has turned tail and run from. (Well, it is suicidal so far as anybody can see.) So he manages to pull this off too, and then hears about and captures a ton of pearls and saphires. The admiral is very pleased, when he shuts up for long enough for Ramage to report what he has accomplished.
I don't mean to run it down, though I know the bald description sounds that way. In these two books, he wins through superior planning and preparing for luck, and mostly through his own skills at that. They're gripping reading.