After committing a crime anyone but a close relative might forgive,
Karli Mortdecai Van Cleef leaves Holland double-quick with his
uncle's buckshot lodged firmly in the seat of his breeches.
Discretion being the least-idiotic part of valour he decides to
hide far away in London, among the tea shops and opium dens. On
savouring these Eastern delicacies and knowing an opportunity when
he sups upon one, young Karli throws in his lot with an opium
clipper bound for China's high seas. Life on the ocean waves,
however, is full of perils for an officer and his sensitive
digestive tract: mountainous waves, an encounter with a malodorous
slave ship, the captain's wife's pulse-racingly brief wardrobe,
several hordes of pirates, mutiny, the ship's cook's fondness for
curry - to name but a few.