Author Guest Post
Britain had a successful and active codebreaking organization in World War I run by the Royal Navy. Known by its address of Room 40 in the Admiralty, this organization was only partially disbursed after the war. In 1938, when war appeared all by inevitable, Admiral Sinclair of the Government Code and Cipher School, Room 40’s proper name, bought Bletchley Park.
London, where the codebreakers were currently working, had been bombed in WWI, and it seemed likely that in the next war bombing would be more destructive. When he couldn’t get the government to buy Bletchley Park so that the codebreakers could work outside the danger zone, Sinclair bought the property himself.
In May, 1938 after the purchase, cables were laid from the Bletchley Park manor house to Whitehall and then a trial run of using Bletchley Park for the government’s codebreaking efforts was held. A couple of weeks rehearsal was held which was called “Captain Ridley’s Shooting Party” for anyone curious enough to ask what all those people were doing wandering around the estate.
It became obvious from this trial that there wouldn’t be enough room for everyone to work, much less live there. Temporary structures, called huts, were ordered as offices for the overflow of employees.
Bletchley Park was fifty miles north of London next to a railroad junction town, far enough to avoid the bombing of London but close to transportation that would get employees to London in an hour. Trains from Bletchley also ran up to Scotland and to Oxford and Cambridge where much of the recruiting for the GC&CS took place early in the war.
It was believed that there was enough space in Bletchley and surrounding villages to billet all the workers, with the workers assigned a specific amount, one pound, one shilling, that each was to pay their landlady each week from their pay. Billeting was successful in some cases and wildly unsuccessful in others, but it was the system used by the GC&CS throughout the war.
I found at least one case of the servants’ quarters being used as a billet for young ladies, some of whom were from aristocratic families like Rosalie Billingsthorpe. I thought this would be the perfect place for Livvy Redmond to reside during the mystery of a murdered Bletchley Park employee.
Deadly Cypher takes place at Bletchley Park in the very early days of the war. The numbers of workers were rising almost daily as the big push to break the German Enigma codes began. More long one-story temporary buildings, the huts, were built and occupied, billets farther from Bletchley Park were used, and a transportation service to get the workers between work and home was set up.
Livvy Redmond is sent in to find the killer of a young woman in this early period of confusion as solutions are found to all the logistical problems of setting up a huge codebreaking organization. Watch over Livvy’s shoulder as she learns how Bletchley Park works, gets used to sharing one bathroom with seven other young women, gets soaked on the hike from the bus stop to the entrance to the servants’ quarters where she stays, hunts for hidden exits, and searches for a murderer.
I hope you enjoy the journey.
About Deadly Cypher
Deadly Cypher: A World War II Mystery (The Deadly Series)
Historical Cozy Mystery
7th in Series
Publisher : JDP Press (August 24, 2021)
Print length : 211 pages
ASIN : B08XSRRQCV
Could a murder at Bletchley Park cost Britain the war?
November, 1939. The British government has assembled a small group of intellectuals at an estate north of London as part of a top-secret codebreaking effort. Everything about it is clandestine. The facility is ringed with a veil of silence until one of the young female linguists is murdered.
Britain’s counterintelligence spymaster tasks Olivia Redmond with finding the killer and the motive. Olivia is sent in alone, without clues or suspects.
Did the murder victim uncover a mole? Could Britain’s program to break German enigma cyphers be compromised?
If Olivia fails, it could mean the destruction of Britain.
Deadly Cypher will be on sale until August 30, 2021 when it will be sold at full price.
Deadly Cypher, book seven of the Deadly Series, is for fans of World War II era spy thrillers and classical cozy mysteries, of intrepid lady sleuths with spunk and smarts. No explicit cursing, sex, or violence.
Preorder your copy today!
About Kate Parker
With her love of travel, Kate Parker sets her novels overseas. Once home from her research trips and armed with hot tea and chocolate, she can be found clicking away on her keyboard, hiking the hills of central North Carolina, and spoiling her 90 pound muse puppy. She’d tell you what she did before she retired, but then she’d have to use certain skills to eliminate you. She pens stories to entertain readers who enjoy action and murder in tales about plucky heroines, quirky characters, and difficult situations in a bygone era. Her stories are sweet, as in no graphic sex, violence, or language. Her heroines remain ladylike while chasing murderers and escaping danger. Well, as ladylike as scratching, punching, and kicking can be.
Website – www.KateParkerbooks.com
Deadly Series Website – www.thedeadlyseries.com
Facebook – www.Facebook.com/Author.Kate.Parker/
Deadly Series Facebook – www.facebook.com/thedeadlyseries
BookBub – http://www.bookbub.com/authors/kate-parker
GoodReads – www.goodreads.com/author/show/7123001.Kate_Parker
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