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Face of the Enemy: A New York in Wartime Mystery    by Joanne Dobson & Beverle Graves Myers Amazon.com order for
Face of the Enemy
by Joanne Dobson
Order:  USA  Can
Poisoned Pen, 2012 (2012)
Hardcover, CD, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

Face of the Enemy by Joanne Dobson and Beverle Graves Myers is a really good mystery tied into a period of history on the cusp of World War II as the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor followed by President Franklin D. Roosevelt's declaration of war with Germany. A history that impacted my family with hard-to-face realities.

I won't inflict my history on you but as I was nine years old on December 7, 1941 I remember a good deal of the background of this intriguing novel. I remember the rush at the recruiting offices. The shortage of nylon stockings. Blackout curtains and air raid wardens. Ration books. Gold and silver stars hanging in windows. All of this and so much more bring back so many memories. Not all of them bad.

As the devastation at Pearl Harbor is recognized, the citizens of New York City turn on Japanese residents. The FBI and local police round up any they suspect of espionage. Masako Fumi, a recognized artist, is one of those unfortunates. She left Japan at age four and has never been back. Alienated from her ambassador father, she has no ties with Japan at all. But she is held in detention on Ellis Island.

Masako's husband, a professor, suffering from pneumonia (which at that point in time could easily be a death sentence) suffers a decline brought on by worry for his wife. Nurse Louise Hunter does her best to succor him and tries to help have Masako released.

When Masako's art dealer is murdered, she is the immediate suspect. In the meantime, various happenings occur that concern the occupants of the boarding house where Louise resides. Face of the Enemy is a very good read.

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