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4 Stars Out Of 5
October 10, 2010
Set in 1915 before America declares war, this novel about cryptography intrigued me from the beginning Note to Readers until the finish which offers a code to break. (I must admit, I'm no Emma--the protagonist--and I gave up.) What a strong character Emma is... an intelligent, mannerly woman, who has to deal with the murder of her father. I admire her.
I loved reading this Christian historical fiction about the lives of code breakers. I'd never considered the intensity or dedication of the work. Add to that a romance with handsome Lieutenant John Patterson, a guy who would cause any one's heart to beat more rapidly, and you have a winning plot.
Readers may try their hand at solving the ciper message in the back of the book and enter a contest to win another Summerside Press novel.
Here is an intense novel, full of mystery that most will enjoy. Thank you to Summerside Press for my copy.
I have read lots of books concerning WWII, but not nearly as many about WWI. Consequently I was fascinated by "The Crimson Cipher" which deals with sabotage and espionage in America before it entered WWI. I loved the characters that were dealing with murder, mystery and so much more as they tried to uncover danger before it happened. Emma is a strong young woman that is devastated when her father is killed over what seems to be the project he was working on designing - a machine that can encrypt messages and maybe decode them as well. The Navy gets involved and soon Emma is working as a civilian in a secret part of the Navy that is responsible for trying to decipher intercepted messages from the enemy regarding sabotage on American and Canadian soil. In the meantime, somebody wants Emma dead and they want her father's machine.
I loved learning about what was going on before America joined the war. Susan Page Davis has a section that tells which parts are fact and which parts are literary license, it is so interesting. I had never really heard about this before and I would like to learn more. That is an interesting book, something that can grab my attention and hold it and then make me want to learn more. Excellent characters, excellent time period and storyline and a wonderful book all around!
The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis is a fast-paced and intriguing look at the world of code-breaking in the days leading up to WWI. When Emma Shuster's father is found shot dead in his office, she assumes that he was murdered for information about the new ciphering machine he was creating for a bank. Navy lieutenant John Patterson arrived to talk to Professor Shuster but ends up helping Emma deal with funeral preparations and plans for the future in the wake of her father's death. The couple feels drawn together by the tragedy, and he helps her find a job with the military as a code-breaker. But suspicious activities by Emma's aunt, uncle, and cousin, and a suitor put in her life in danger, as does the man who will stop at nothing to find that machine. Davis truly brings to life the tense days when Europe is at war and the US tries to remain neutral, even when its ships are being attacked and sabotage is happening all over the country. Her portrayal of the fascinating role code-breakers played in that time makes the story compelling and enjoyable. I hope that she isn't done writing about this era, Doris and the other women rooming at Mrs. Draper's boarding house could each support their own book!
The Crimson Cipher is unlike any book I've read. It's based in the early days of World War One, prior to any official involvement by the US. A neutral nation, this novel is set amidst some of the early code-breaking efforts of the navy. I found that a fascinating historical hook and was also intrigued by all the sabotage going on against the US and Canada.Emma Shuster finds herself swept into the Navy's efforts after her father is murdered. And the intrigue follows her from Maine to D.C. When her heart becomes entangled with a suitor, she has to decide whether to allow the navy lieutenant in. The romance is well-blended with the suspense, and the characters and setting had me transported back to that time period. This was a very enjoyable read that I enjoyed immensely.