In this seventh installment of James R. Benn’s hit WWII-era mystery series, Lieutenant Billy Boyle goes undercover in the Vatican.
Lieutenant Billy Boyle could have used a rest after his last case, but when his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy, goes missing in the Vatican, where she was working undercover, he insists on being assigned to a murder investigation there so he can try to help her.
An American monsignor is found murdered at the foot of Death’s Door, one of the five entrances to Saint Peter’s Basilica. Wild Bill Donovan, head of the OSS, wants the killing investigated. The fact that the Vatican is neutral territory in German-occupied Rome is only one of the obstacles Billy must overcome. First is a harrowing journey, smuggled into Rome while avoiding the Gestapo and Allied bombs. Then he must navigate Vatican politics and personalities—some are pro-Allied, others pro-Nazi, and the rest steadfastly neutral—to learn the truth about the murdered monsignor. But that’s not his only concern; just a short walk from the Vatican border is the infamous Regina Coeli prison, where Diana is being held. Can he dare a rescue, or will a failed attempt alert the Germans to his mission and risk an open violation of Vatican neutrality?
James R. Benn is the author of the Billy Boyle World War II mysteries. The debut, Billy Boyle, was named one of five top mysteries of 2006 by Book Sense and was a Dilys Award nominee. A Blind Goddess was… More about James R. Benn
“Filled with action and adventure…. A fine novel with its foot firmly planted in reality.” —Ted Hertel, Deadly Pleasures Mystery Magazine
“James Benn has managed to not only write a first rate mystery, but also convey very accurately an era from history. Benn’s Billy Boyle mysteries are always entertaining, filled with riveting characters, and beautifully plotted stories…. Benn’s research is admirable and the expert way in which he uses this historical data to tell a riveting story is brilliant. The story has the feel of an old time adventure story, and Benn’s marvelous dialogue brings the characters to life… I dare you not to read the other six novels. Historical mysteries just don’t get any better than this.” —Seattle Post-Intelligencer
“Benn’s nuanced portrayal of Vatican politics will keep readers turning the pages.” —Publishers Weekly “Consistently entertaining.” —WWII Magazine
“Benn has obviously done his research…In addition to series fans, this will appeal to readers who enjoy mysteries and thrillers with a dramatic setting such as the Second World War.” —Library Journal
Praise for the Billy Boyle series
“This book has got it all—an instant classic.” —Lee Child
“Stark and poignant.” —Denver Post
“Terrific…. Razor sharp.” —Joseph Finder
“What a great read, full of action, humor and heart.” —Louise Penny
“If you like WWII mysteries, here is a must-have series.” —Bookgasm