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BILLY BOYLE by James R. Benn

BILLY BOYLE

A World War II Mystery

By James R. Benn

Pub Date: Sept. 1st, 2006
ISBN: 1-56947-433-8
Publisher: Soho

During WWII, a diplomatic mission in Norway turns into a murder probe.

As the Good War heats up and the draft accelerates, Boston cop Billy Boyle decides to enlist. After his well-connected and vocal Irish family calls in a few favors to get Billy into Officers Candidate School, he emerges a lieutenant under the command of rising military star and distant relative Dwight Eisenhower, whom Billy calls Uncle Ike. In London, Ike assigns Billy to a special mission in Norway along with dishy British Officer Daphne Seaton, the unresponsive target of Billy’s all-out romantic assault, even though her heart belongs to Polish baron Lt. Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz, another member of the team. Starchy Major Harding heads the team, whose assignment is to inform the Norwegian king and other dignitaries that the Allies, now bolstered by America’s recent entry into the war, will soon implement Operation Jupiter, the invasion of Norway. This rather jaunty mission takes a dark turn when a diplomat named Knut Birkeland dies after a fall from the high window of his room. A locked door and a regretful note left behind lead everyone to assume he killed himself. Everyone, that is, except Billy, who undertakes an investigation that includes the king and leads to romance with a spirited nurse.

Benn (On Desperate Ground, 2000) crafts a crackling good adventure, with much flavorsome period color, and an acceptable whodunit.