Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Crimson Cipher by Susan Page Davis - REVIEWED

This week, the

Christian Fiction Blog Alliance

is introducing

The Crimson Cipher
Summerside Press (July 1, 2010)

Susan Page Davis


From Susan: I've always loved reading, history, and horses. These things come together in several of my historical books. My young adult novel, Sarah's Long Ride, also spotlights horses and the rugged sport of endurance riding, as does the contemporary romance Trail to Justice. I took a vocational course in horseshoeing after earning a bachelor's degree in history. I don't shoe horses anymore, but the experience has come in handy in writing my books.

Another longtime hobby of mine is genealogy, which has led me down many fascinating paths. I'm proud to be a DAR member! Some of Jim's and my quirkier ancestors have inspired fictional characters.

For many years I worked for the Central Maine Morning Sentinel as a freelancer, covering local government, school board meetings, business news, fires, auto accidents, and other local events, including a murder trial. I've also written many profiles and features for the newspaper and its special sections. This experience was a great help in developing fictional characters and writing realistic scenes. I also published nonfiction articles in several magazines and had several short stories appear in Woman's World, Grit, and Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine.

My husband, Jim, and I moved to his birth state, Oregon, for a while after we were married, but decided to move back to Maine and be near my family. We're so glad we did. It allowed our six children to grow up feeling close to their cousins and grandparents, and some of Jim's family have even moved to Maine!

Our children are all home-schooled. The two youngest are still learning at home. Jim recently retired from his vocation as an editor at a daily newspaper, and we’ve moved from Maine to Kentucky.



A female Navy cryptographer seeks to save lives...and uncover her father’s killers.

In 1915, German sympathizers escalated acts of sabotage in the United States to keep the nation from joining in the war. With enemies lurking at every turn, whom can Emma trust? Is romance the true motive behind her tow suitors advances? Or could one-or both of them-have traitorous intentions in mind?

Following the mysterious murder of Emma Shuster’s father, Lt. John Patterson invites Emma to become a Navy cryptographer because of the expertise she gained in helping her father develop a cipher system.

Emma races to discover the nefarious plans of her country's foes and unmask their leader before others are killed. She finds new strength in her faith as she strives to outwit her adversary, known only as Kobold - German for goblin.

And yet, her greatest challenge may be deciphering the cryptic messages her heart sends whenever she encounters a certain navy lieutenant... Can Emma and John find love in the midst of turmoil as America plunges toward war?

If you would like to read the first chapter of The Crimson Cipher, go HERE.


I’ve never given much thought to the Signal Corps and the role they play in our military – past and present. I’m so glad Susan Page Davis did! The result? The Crimson Cipher! The story starts out with a bang, and it really maintains a element of urgency and secrecy throughout the story. Emma Schuster is the daughter of a man who is hard at work on a machine that will make ciphers easier to decode, as well as an easy means to encode messages from others. She has to go to work for the Signal Corps rather unexpectedly, and what she finds when she begins is that she really has a gift for this type of work! However, in 1915, with the Germans on the prowl, it turns out to be a very dangerous line of work!

When I began this book, I couldn’t call to mind the other book of Davis’ I had read, and I soon figured out why…it was so totally different than The Crimson Cipher! The Sherriff’s Surrender was my introduction to Davis’ work, and it was thoroughly entertaining! So now I am even more impressed with her work, because she has shifted to a more modern venue for her romantic suspense, and once again has kept me happily reading!

I think readers will enjoy Emma’s quiet faith and her inner strength that keeps her going in the face of uncertain circumstances. She has to face an entire boardinghouse full of strangers, a new career move and the dangers of decoding messages during a very uncertain time! I really admired her character! I enjoyed “meeting” the other women at the boarding house as well as the folks that she worked with at the Signal Corps. I do wish I was good at decoding messages/puzzles such as these…but alas! I must have my writing in plain English!

But what a fascinating field to work in and what an exciting time in history! The Crimson Cipher is a good read, folks, and Susan Page Davis is a talented writer indeed to take folks to such different times and places in history! Enjoy the tale!!


Susan Page Davis said...

Kim, thank you for featuring my new book. 1915 was a fascinating time to research. I'm delighted that you enjoyed The Crimson Cipher and The Sheriff's Surrender. The second book in The Ladies' Shooting Club series is now out as well--The Gunsmith's Gallantry. If you liked the shy gunsmith in book 1, you'll love this.

Mocha with Linda said...

What a great review. I enjoyed both of her books.

Kav said...

Wonderful review, Kim. This is one I will be eager to read. I read Susan Page Davis' Frasier Island and loved it. She writes great suspense. I've popped over to her website and see that she has written tons more. I better get busy and get caught up!

Merry said...

I love Susan's books, I don't let one slip by!

Susan Page Davis said...

Thanks, Linda! Kav, I'm glad you read Frasier Island. Did you find the others in that series--Finding Marie and Inside Story? The characters from the island live on! Merry, nice to see you. I know you're a faithful reader. I do hope you'll all stop by my web site and enter the end-of-the month drawing where I give away at least two books. --use the "painless contest form." :)