Thursday, September 9, 2021

The Cryptographer's Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander

About the Book:

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 latter about dolls. Agent Phillip Clayton is read to enlist and head overseas 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?

My Review:

I enjoyed this novel, a good example of an amateur person put on the tail of a traitor. Eloise is a good heroine. She's a capable woman, helping decode, then being taken in by the FBI. I liked reading about her FBI training. Eloise was a trooper.

I always enjoy learning something new when I read fiction and there was much in this novel about decoding. I had no idea the time and effort put into the process. And I was surprised at the many types of codes, especially the one that would look like a regular letter but contained code words and phrases.

I like this series because the fiction is based on fact. There really was a Doll Woman who received money from the Japanese for information about American ships damaged at Pearl Harbor. I appreciate the Author's Note identifying the fact and fiction in the novel.

This is a good novel for readers who enjoy historical fiction. You'll find a good novel about how the FBI worked in the 1940s, a bit about decoding, and a good budding romance. There is a little Christian faith in the novel but it is slight.

You can find out more about Alexander's historical research for this novel here.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

About the Author:

Johnnie Alexander is an award winning author as well as a noted essayist and poet. She writes in multiple genres – historical, contemporary, romance, cozy mysteries, and more. You can find out more at

Barbour Books, 256 pages.

I received a complimentary egalley of this book from the publisher. My comments are an independent and honest review.

(My star ratings: 5-I love it, 4-I like it, 3-It's OK, 2-I don't like it, 1-I hate it.)

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