In a true tale of daring, Canadian-born Emma Edmonds goes on 11 spying missions for the Union Army during the Civil War. Pretending to be a young man, Emma joined the army as a nurse and soon after volunteered to slip behind enemy lines, establishing disguises--including those of an Irish peddler, a wizened black man (her favorite), and a young, moustached bookkeeper--gathering needed information, and escaping safely each time. This fictionalized biography doesn't dwell on women's needs and anatomy, except to show the friendship between Emma and her only confidante, a major's wife who nursed her during her few illnesses. The story is fast-moving; and Emma's spunk--apparently motivated as much by the love of adventure as by the love of freedom--is evident. But the authors, staying laudably close to existing documentation, don't give Emma's personality the dimensions that a novelist might have provided.