Welcome to the tenth month of the Unlocking the Past 2021 Reading Challenge. This month focused on WWII, and my choice of story was The Cryptographer’s Dilemma by Johnnie Alexander. Once you read my review, don’t forget to comment to be entered for your chance to win a copy.

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The Cryptographer’s Dilemma

by Johnnie Alexander


I ended up listening to the audiobook of this story as reading has been shoved to the recesses of driving time, cooking, dishes, and laundry. I thought the narrator did a fine job, although sometimes the voices she used struck a nerve.

As for the book itself, I loved diving into the world of the FBI during WWII and cryptography. I was fascinated by how much I learned through the story, and even some of the twists and turns I hadn’t expected. I was slightly confused at the end with how some things connected, but I didn’t read back through to see if I just missed something. Overall, the story was a joy to read and to learn about aspects of WWII I had not previously been familiar with. The hero and heroine were delightful, the romance sweet and believable, and the plot intriguing. Readers of historical romance will enjoy the journey and the details of a world gone by, and a time in history when “loose lips sinks ships.”

I recommend this book to fans of WWII stories, stories with well-researched historical details, plots of intrigue and espionage, and romance that blooms through adversity.

Genre: Historical Romance, USA, 1942

Plot Overview:

A Code Developer Uncovers a Japanese Spy Ring

Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.

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?

What I loved: The behind-the-scenes peek at following an investigation and cryptography. There were some great scenes of action, and I always love a good spy story.

Favorite Character and Why: I really enjoyed Eloise. She was a bright woman with the insecurities that many of us face. She was easy to identify with.

Who would like this? I recommend this book to fans of WWII stories, stories with well-researched historical details, plots of intrigue and espionage, and romance that blooms through adversity.

Rating and Why: Four stars. There were lots of great things I enjoyed about the story. However, there were bits of the ending that didn’t quite lineup for me. That may change with a second reading.


Amazon      Baker Bookhouse       Barnes & Noble      Books-a-Million      Book Depository      Bookshop.org      Christianbook.com     Indiebound.org

For your chance to win a print copy, comment with what book YOU read for this month and you will also be entered into the year-end giveaway of all 12 books reviewed. Use the Rafflecopter below for extra entries and to mark that you left a comment. Entries end on November 7th at midnight EST, and the winner will be drawn sometime that week and notified by email. The winner will be announced don’t the Rafflecopter widget. *Open to all residents of the contiguous USA, legally able to enter, and an e-book format or Amazon Gift Card will be awarded to those outside that range who are legally able to enter.

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