Face of the Enemy
Review: In early December, 1941, a promising New York City artist originally from Japan faces discrimination — and a charge of murder — in Face of the Enemy, the first mystery in the "New York in Wartime" series by Joanne Dobson and Beverle Graves Myers.
Masako Fumi is the wife of Columbia University Professor of Asian History Robert Oakley, and is excited for the opening of her first solo art show, scheduled to open on November 29th. The war in Europe has been escalating, and tensions between the US and Japan are simmering, but the art world didn't seem to mind where Masako was born, just that she was a talented artist. All that changed on December 7th. The FBI arrests Masako as an enemy alien, taking her to Ellis Island for incarceration. But then her situation gets worse, when a gallery owner is found murdered, his body positioned at the foot of Masako's signature painting. The police don't necessarily suspect Masako of killing him, but others see an opportunity to link the domestic crime to recent international events.
Face of the Enemy is a riveting story of an isolated woman, losing her freedom to live with her husband and becoming a pawn on the world stage for a crime she did not commit. There is also a backstory involving Japanese culture at the time, where Masako's family cut her off because she refused a marriage arranged by her parents and chose to wed an American instead. The supporting cast of characters, notably Masako's friend Louise Hunter and the investigating detective Michael McKenna, is impressive as is the richly drawn setting, all conveying a sense of what it was like to live in New York City at this historic if also most difficult time for the country.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Face of the Enemy.
Acknowledgment: Maryglenn McCombs Book Publicity provided a copy of Face of the Enemy for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
Death Without Tenure
Poisoned Pen Press (Hardcover), January 2010
ISBN-13: 9781590585856; ISBN-10: 1590585852
Location(s) referenced in Face of the Enemy: New York City
— ♦ —
Face of the Enemy by Joanne Dobson and Beverle Graves Myers — A New York in Wartime Mystery
Publisher: Poisoned Pen Press
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $24.95
— ♦ —
Page Author: Lance Wright
Site Publisher: Mysterious Reviews
Mysterious Reviews is a Division of
The Hidden Staircase Mystery Books
and a Business Unit of the
Omnimystery Family of Mystery Websites