The Rose Code

Morrow. Mar. 2021. 656p. ISBN 9780062943477. pap. $17.99. F
In 1940 England, Mayfair society debutante Osla Kendall and brassy, determined typist Mab Churt, from London’s East End, seem to have nothing in common—until they become roommates and colleagues decoding German messages at the top-secret cryptanalysis center at Bletchley Park. Elizabeth Finch, their landlady’s shy, silent, bullied daughter, is an even less likely companion, but she possesses an unnatural talent for puzzles and soon is poring over code with an intensity that makes the rest of the world fall away. The stress of the work at Bletchley is relieved by Mad Hatter tea parties and high jinks, but eventually these give way to bitterness and betrayal, as the war exacts its cost on each of the women, leaving them scarred and alone. It is not until several years after the war and Bletchley’s disbandment that the discovery of a possible turncoat forces the three women into an uneasy alliance and a frantic race to catch the traitor before it is too late.
VERDICT Quinn (The Huntress; The Alice Network) writes with an immediacy and level of detail that keeps readers on the edge of their seats. Her latest is a deft blend of romance, mystery, and suspense that will appeal to lovers of those genres, and to her many fans.
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