Archive for category Research Finds

How to Code Messages Like a WWII Spy

This blog post will take you through the steps of encoding a message using double transposition, just like British and American spies did in WWII. Should you feel like trying it out, it will be up to you to look up the Morris code, secure a radio, and find someone to transmit it to. Early in […]

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Sweeney Todd, Sherlock Holmes, and Stephen Ambrose

A friend of mine asked me about the name of one of my characters, Sherlock. He’s in Sworn Enemy, a British medic and a paratrooper, and his real name is Richard Holmes. I thought it would be fun to explain how he got his name, in case anyone else is curious. A few years ago […]

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Research Find: Why you shouldn’t tell the newspapers if you’re breaking someone’s code or tracking their satellite phone

In 1927, the government of Great Britain was looking for a reason to break off diplomatic relations with the Soviet Union. They had plenty of reason—for one, the staff from the Soviet embassy in Great Britain was involved in espionage. Proof could be found in several diplomatic messages that the British had intercepted and decrypted. […]


Research Finds: Unusual Stiches and a Little-known Battle

One thing about writing historical fiction—you have to do a lot of research. Good thing I like learning new things. A lot of tidbits I come across won’t appear in one of my novels anytime soon, but they’re dang interesting. Here a two recent examples: Is that sanitary? When the US Army invaded Oran, Algeria, […]



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