The Rose Code

This is a gold book cover with a woman in a red dress looking out over a balcony in the middle of the cover.

Book written by Kate Quinn

Book review by Rick Howard 

Bottom Line

I don't recommend this nonfiction book for the Cybersecurity Canon Hall of Fame, but if you are interested in the topic, this is a good one to read.


If there were baseball cards for computer science nerds, my most prized possessions would be 

"the Clifford Stoll," "the Grace Hopper," and of course, my all time favorite, "the Alan Turing." I mention this because The Rose Code, a historical fiction novel set during and after WWII, is a story about three remarkable women who worked at Bletchley Park during the war. They helped Alan Turing and team break the secret codes created by the German Enigma machine. And of course, Turing makes a cameo appearance at the end (That was enough to get me to read the book right there). There are three love stories, an insider threat spy leaking secrets to the Russians, the tragedies and horrors of living and working in England with the German war machine dropping bombs almost every night, and the day-to-day routine of 9000 people (mostly women) configuring over 200 Bombes (the nickname for the machines the Bletchley Park scientists designed to decrypt the Enigma messages) to get an edge on what the German Commanders were doing in the field. If you're interested in encryption and / or the history of code breaking during WWII, this is a great warm up for studying the material in detail. And, it's just a ripping read. I highly recommend it.