In the early 1930s, Velvalee Dickinson moved to New York City where she opened her own exclusive doll shop. She built her reputation as an expert in rare, antique, and foreign dolls. She traveled extensively around the country lecturing and exhibiting her dolls while building a wealthy clientele. Due to her husband’s poor health and her failing business, she accepted the role as a spy for the Imperial Japanese Government. By hiding coded messages in her correspondence about dolls, she was able to pass on to her Japanese contacts critical military information about the US warships. The FBI arrested her and charged her with espionage and violation of censorship laws. She became the first American woman to face the death penalty on charges of spying for a wartime enemy. Eventually the espionage charge was dropped, and she was sentenced to 10 years at Alderson Correctional Facility and a $10,000 fine. Four years into her stay at Alderson, Eunice Kennedy took a special interest in Velvalee and helped her find employment once she left Alderson. Later, Velvalee would become Eunice’s private secretary. Velvalee Dickinson reached out to Eunice one last time when she was in her 70s, asking for her assistance in getting a job at the New York World’s Fair. She eventually disappeared, having lived her life after prison in anonymity. Velvalee Dickinson: The “Doll Woman” Spy is a carefully researched glimpse into the “Doll Woman’s” life as a collector of dolls, and as the highest paid American woman who spied for the Imperial Japanese Government during World War II.
|Publisher:||Strategic Media Books|
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.60(d)|
|Age Range:||3 Months to 18 Years|
About the Author
Barbara Casey is the author of several award-winning novels and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Her nonfiction true crime book, Kathryn Kelly: The Moll behind Machine Gun Kelly 9781939521491 has been optioned for a major film and television series. Her nonfiction book, Assata Shakur: A 20th Century Escaped Slave 9781939521606, is under contract for a major film. Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with her husband, and three pets who adopted her: Benton, a hound-mix; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 The Beginnings 1
Chapter 2 The Suspicions 15
Chapter 3 The Letters 23
Chapter 4 The Investigation 43
Chapter 5 The Arrest and Indictment 79
Chapter 6 The Trial 101
Chapter 7 The Time Served 125
Chapter 8 The Aftermath 145
Photo Credits 159
Newspapers and Periodicals
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a difficult book to describe; not a bad book at all, just hard to verbally describe. Let me start out by saying that at first it was not what I expected. I had in my convoluted brain that it would be more story like. A story about a woman spy who liked dolls. And it was that. It is exactly what it says it is, biographical. But as I continued through the book, I found that Barbara Casey had a way of flowing from facts to an interesting piece of descriptive writing. Really sort of back and forth, creating a nice flow for reading a non-fiction book. The above may well be the style of the author as I have not read her other books. It is better researched than any dissertation. It is laid out beautifully. Every source, every credit and an Index to die for. Being a retired librarian, I tend to go to the back of the book first. I was overwhelmed at the work and organization. This isn’t just well-written, it is a book which obviously involved a LOT of time and work. Having said the above, I want to say that this book does encompass true crime, biography and of course non-fiction. It is also a history lover’s read. The people and the places as well as the instances are all here, but as I said earlier it seems to flow well and read easily. In looking at previously published works by Barbara Casey I found all have very good reviews. Obviously, a good author to check out.