Thursday, August 19, 2021

The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

Title: The Cryptographer’s Dilemma 

Series: Heroines of WWII #1

Author: Johnnie Alexander

Publisher: Barbour

Genre: Historical Fiction, WWII, Mystery, Romance

My Review:

Mystery, intrigue, and a look at what a cryptographer does makes for an interesting read.

I enjoyed The Cryptographer's Dilemma but I was expecting more from it. I have not read anything by Johnnie Alexander before, so I was not sure what to expect from her writing. However, from the synopsis of the book, I expected more mystery and more involvement from the Japanese consulate. 

The story was a slow build and moved at a steady pace. I enjoyed the friendship that developed between Eloise and Philip, and the bit of mystery. I found it interesting to learn that the story was based on a true "doll" lady and appreciated the author's research and attention to detail in the telling of the story.

There were a few disconnects as well. The point of view is third person so you do not actually feel what the characters are thinking or feeling, you are told. This makes it harder to connect to the characters and the story. There felt like too many things in the story without enough clear resolution to them all. I do not want to give spoilers but felt in some ways there needed to be more (dialogue and feelings) and less of other things.

I think historical fans will enjoy reading this glimpse into a cryptographer's job during WWII.

Thank you to Net Galley and Barbour Publishing for the opportunity to read this book. I was not required to give a positive review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.



A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

FBI cryptographer Eloise Marshall is grieving the death of her brother, who died during the attack on Pearl Harbor, when she is assigned to investigate a seemingly innocent letter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is ready to enlist and head oversees when asked to work one more FBI job. A case of coded defense coordinates related to dolls should be easy, but not so when the Japanese Consulate gets involved, hearts get entangled, and Phillip goes missing. Can Eloise risk loving and losing again?


  1. There are so many WWII historical fiction books on the market right now! I'm reading one right now. I think I'm ready to move on to a different time period! Great review, thanks!

    1. Me too, Wendy, me too! I need that break from historical fiction! I am not sure how many more I have committed to reading and reviewing, but hopefully not many more, LOL!

  2. The synopsis of this does sound really good, sorry it didn't work all that well for you!

    Have you read The Rose Code by Kate Quinn??

    1. No, I have not heard of that one, I will have to look it up. Thanks for sharing :)

  3. I do love the cryptography aspect in this one.