Ghost Ships - By Richard Winer, 268 pages, $7.50, Berkley Books, New York
Subtitled True Stories of Nautical Nightmares, Hauntings and Disasters, the book Ghost Ships is one that lives up to its cover. Richard Winer’s first chronicle of maritime mysteries, The Devil’s Triangle, brought more than one sailor to the edge of his or her proverbial seat. In his paperback sequel, Ghost Ships, Winer recounts even more eerie sea tales - many close to home. For example, the collier Cyclops vanished in 1918 en route to Norfolk from the Caribbean. Was her captain a German spy who delivered her to the Germans, or was she lost at sea with all hands? The U.S.S. Conestoga, built in Baltimore in 1904, sailed to the South Seas, where she too vanished without a trace. In splendid detail Winer brings to life these mystery ships and the people who sailed them, and he never once lets readers forget the incredible vastness of the oceans or the magnificent fury of their storms. A good winter read, indeed.