cover image The Enigma Game

The Enigma Game

Elizabeth Wein. Little, Brown, $18.99 (432p) ISBN 978-1-368-01258-4

Set in 1940, between the events of The Pearl Thief and Code Name Verity, Wein’s latest immersive dive into a slice of WWII-era history splits the narration among three figures—Flt. Lt. Jamie Beaufort-Stuart; Ellen McEwen, a Traveller volunteering as a military driver; and Louisa Adair, the biracial daughter of a Jamaican father and a British mother, both recently killed by German explosives. Suddenly an orphan at 15, Louisa intersects with the others when she is hired by phone to escort an elderly German opera singer to a relative’s inn, located in the Scottish countryside near the air force base where Jamie and Ellen are stationed. Intrigue is added when the civilians arrive at the same moment as a German pilot who secretly deposits a code-breaking machine at the inn—the only Enigma machine in Allied hands. Louisa, who dearly wishes she could help the war effort as a pilot, now has the means to contribute, but she needs assistance. Wein again seamlessly weaves extensive research into a thriller populated by fully dimensional characters. Late in the novel, Jamie’s sister, Julie, makes a cameo as a newly minted intelligence officer, a poignant reminder to readers of Code Name Verity that the war will get much worse before it ends. Ages 12–up. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown. (Nov.)