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Posted 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.
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Posted July 10, 2013
Emma Shuster finds herself face to face with the horrors of Pre-WWI in America in 1915. Her father is murdered, allegedly for his ingenious encryption machine. His expertise in cryptography made him a desirable asset to the United States Navy, but a high-level threat to less friendly factions, mainly those of German descent. As her father’s assistant, she had learned and become quite skilled in cracking many types of ciphers and codes, but now she finds herself without parents, home, or job.
Shortly after her father’s funeral, Captain Waller of the Signal Corps offers Emma a job in Fairfax, VA as a decoder of encrypted messages from various enemy sources. Her job was to help stop espionage and the destruction of bridges, warehouses, cargo ships and ammunition factories by decoding messages from the enemy. She also donates her father’s secret encryption machine to the Navy for its potential use should America ever become directly involved in the war.
Emma settles into her new job. She enjoys the work and feels accomplishment in potentially saving lives and property, but is totally unaware of a new storm brewing in her own life. Unbeknownst to her, her father’s killers are still frantically searching for Professor Shuster’s encryption machine, and will stop at nothing to find it. Although Emma’s employment with the Signal Corps is a high-level, secret position, eventually they do find her. Emma is moved by the Navy to a new location, and is personally guarded by Navy soldiers, but one night, under the blanket of darkness, the enemy attacks….
The Crimson Cipher is an enthralling historical novel that joins history, romance, and Christian faith with real life circumstances and hardships. Although Emma is like a small cog in a giant machine, her work, behind the scenes, is vital to the American people.
The book gave you a real feel of pre-WWI sentiments and the world of cryptography. Excellent book; highly recommended! (reviewed by S.Fincannon)
DISCLOSURE: A copy of The Crimson Cipher was donated by the author in exchange for our honest review. Opinions expressed are solely those of the reviewer.
Posted November 5, 2010
Another good book By Susan Page Davis.
This book is set during WW1 but before the USA commit to the war. I found it interesting and informative as I knew the US didn't join in the war very early but didn't know of alot of the reasons. I also didn't know about the domestic issues in Canada also.
This book starts with the murder of Emma's father and what happens after. Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer due to her expertised gained from helping her father develop a cipher system. She is also still trying to find out who killed her father and what they wanted. This was a good read learning about cryptography and how solving the cyphers saved many lives and help turn certain areas of the war. It was good reading about WW1 and this side of the fight.
Posted October 2, 2010
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!
Posted August 19, 2010
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!Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.