Blog Tour Review: The Killing Code, Ellie Marney

Title: The Killing Code
Author: Ellie Marney
Genre: Young Adult Historical Mystery
Publishing Date: September 20, 2022
Publisher: Little Brown Books

A Red, scratchy title over white paper that has numbers handwritten on it. The cover is supposed to look torn, but it doesn't work out visually.

About the Book

A historical mystery about a girl who risks everything to track down a vicious serial killer, for fans of The Enigma Game and A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder.

Virginia, 1943: World War II is raging in Europe and on the Pacific front when Kit Sutherland is recruited to help the war effort as a codebreaker at Arlington Hall, a former girls’ college now serving as the site of a secret US Signals Intelligence facility in Virginia. But Kit is soon involved in another kind of fight: Government girls are being brutally murdered in Washington DC, and when Kit stumbles onto a bloody homicide scene, she is drawn into the hunt for the killer.

To find the man responsible for the gruesome murders and bring him to justice, Kit joins forces with other female codebreakers at Arlington Hall—gossip queen Dottie Crockford, sharp-tongued intelligence maven Moya Kershaw, and cleverly resourceful Violet DuLac from the segregated codebreaking unit. But as the girls begin to work together and develop friendships—and romance—that they never expected, two things begin to come clear: the murderer they’re hunting is closing in on them…and Kit is hiding a dangerous secret.

Book Links

Book Depository

About the Author

Ellie Marney is a New York Times bestselling and multi-award-winning crime author who has gone behind the scenes at the Westminster Mortuary in London and interviewed forensic and technical specialists around the world in pursuit of just the right details for her brand of pulse-pounding thrillers.

Her titles include The Killing CodeNone Shall Sleep, the Every trilogy, No LimitsWhite Night and the Circus Hearts series. She has lived in Indonesia, India and Singapore, and is now based in Australia with her partner and their four sons. 

Ellie has been involved in the creation of the national campaign called #LoveOzYA to promote and advocate for Australian YA literature. She contributed to the critically-acclaimed Begin End Begin: A #LoveOzYA Anthology, and co-runs the popular #LoveOzYAbookclub online. She also co-coordinates an online info-sharing group for Australian women self-publishers. She teaches writing and publishing through Writers Victoria, advocates for Australian women’s writing as a Stella Ambassador in schools, and is a regular speaker at festivals and events.

Author Links


My Thoughts

I've taken a picture of the book amidst bushes and grass.

In 1943 Virginia, women are working on the opposite spectrum of the Enigma machine. They are breaking codes. When a group of friends stumbles upon a murder, it draws a 4th into their group. Kit, Dottie, Moya, and Violet want justice for their friends. They want to find out who is killing women because the police aren’t taking this seriously. But they have to work, so their investigation will have to be on the side. Marney skillfully traverses both veins of storyline in The Killing Code.

My only wish is that the cover got a revamp. Of course, that is something the publisher chooses and not the author. But I don’t feel it works well with the story. And really, this is such a small thing compared to how enjoyable the book is.

Kit is keeping secrets, and she cannot let those secrets slip out. But those secrets keep her on edge and wary of being found out. Whether she was working out codes, or details in the murders, she was thorough, and I enjoyed watching her train of thought. I’m a sucker for World War based Historical Fiction, and this story blends romance and mystery, so it’s a fun combination. It was refreshing to read about the friendships and how supportive the girls were of each other. I liked how this worked out and feel readers will really enjoy this one. Thank you, Little Brown Books, for sending this along.

Favorite Quotes

“Now here they are—two lemon girls, lives and minds so intertwined they can’t imagine one without the other.”

“The last thing Kit needs is to be the focus of police interest.”

“But Moya isn’t the one living a lie. She can stick her nose into other peoples’ business without fear of exposure. Kit doesn’t have that luxury.”

“Is her hair disheveled? Is her face drawn? She doesn’t have the energy to care…”

“Breaks suddenly started appearing everywhere today. Sometimes it’s like that: There’ll be nothing for weeks and then bam, everything comes clear at once.”

This was such an enjoyable read, I’m not sure my review does it justice. So check out the other stops on the blog tour at TBR Tours for more perspectives.


One thought on “Blog Tour Review: The Killing Code, Ellie Marney

  1. I like the combination of learning about women codebreakers and a murder mystery. I agree, when I saw that cover, I just thought thriller, and didn’t think it is a historical mystery.

    Liked by 1 person

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