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A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series

James R. Benn
An Irish-American cop from Boston helps his “uncle” Ike Eisenhower in sensitive WWII investigations for the US Army in this historical mystery series.
Solemn Graves by James R. Benn
Coming soon ON 08-06-19

Solemn Graves

Book 13
Paperback $16.95

A Billy Boyle WWII Mystery Series : Titles in Order

Book 14
In the 14th Billy Boyle mystery, US Army detective Billy Boyle and Lieutenant Kazimierz travel into the heart of Nazi-occupied Paris on a dangerous mission: ensure a traitor to the French Resistance unwittingly carries out a high-stakes deception campaign.
 
August, 1944: US Army detective Billy Boyle is assigned to track down a French traitor, code-named Atlantik, who is delivering classified Allied plans to German leaders in occupied Paris. The Resistance is also hot on his trail and out for blood, after Atlantik’s previous betrayals led to the death of many of their members. But the plans Atlantik carries were leaked on purpose, a ruse devised to obscure the Allied army’s real intentions to bypass Paris in a race to the German border. Now Billy and Kaz are assigned to the Resistance with orders to not let them capture the traitor: the deception campaign is too important. Playing a delicate game, the chase must be close enough to spur the traitor on and visible enough to ensure the Germans trust Atlantik. The outcome of the war may well depend on it.
Book 13
US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate a mysterious murder in a Normandy farmhouse that threatens Allied operations.
 
July, 1944, a full month after D-Day. Billy, Kaz, and Big Mike are assigned to investigate a murder close to the front lines in Normandy. An American officer has been found dead in a manor house serving as an advance headquarters outside the town of Trévières. Major Jerome was far from his own unit, arrived unexpectedly, and was murdered in the dark of night.
 
The investigation is shrouded in secrecy, due to the highly confidential nature of the American unit headquartered nearby in the Norman hedgerow country: the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, aka, the Ghost Army. This vague name covers
a thousand-man unit with a unique mission within the US Army: to impersonate other US Army units by creating deceptions using radio traffic, dummy inflatable vehicles, and sound effects, causing the enemy to think they are facing large formations. Not even the units adjacent to their positions know what they are doing. But there are German spies and informants everywhere, and Billy must tread carefully, unmasking the murder while safeguarding the secret of the Ghost Army—a secret which, if discovered, could turn the tide of war decisively against the Allies.
Book 12
A murder in wartime Switzerland reveals Swiss complicity with the Nazis in World War II, and US Army detective Billy Boyle is called to investigate.

Europe, 1944: Captain Billy Boyle and his friend Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz are sent to neutral Switzerland to work with the Office of Strategic Services (OSS), investigating Swiss banks that are laundering looted Nazi gold. The US and Swiss governments are about to embark on diplomatic discussions regarding the Safehaven Protocols, aimed at limiting the amount of war materials exported by Switzerland to the Nazis, stemming the tide of looted gold, and preventing postwar use of Nazi wealth by war criminals. With the talks about to begin and the Gestapo ever present, the OSS wants Billy and Kaz to protect the participants, which turns out to be a very deadly task.

The plans go wrong from the beginning when Billy and Kaz crashland in France. As they make their way through occupied territory to the border, they meet Anton Lasho, a member of the Sinti ethnic group, whose family was slaughtered by the Nazis, and who is, in turn, a one-man Nazi-killing machine. They’ll need his help, because as they find once they make it across the border, Swiss banks are openly laundering gold “harvested” from concentration camps, and those who are profiting will do everything they can to protect their wealth and hide their dark secrets.
Book 11
Billy Boyle, World War II US Army detective and ex-Boston cop, faces his toughest investigation yet: infiltrating enemy lines in France as the Allies invade Normandy.

May 1944: Captain Billy Boyle is convicted on spurious charges of black market dealings stripped of his officer’s rank, reduced to private, and sentenced to three months’ hard labor. But Billy is given an opportunity: if he takes on the incredibly dangerous mission of investigating a set of murders at the Allies’ safe house in the French town of Chaumont, he can avoid his punishment. Parachuted in as part of a three-man team the night before the Normandy invasion, he has very little time to find the killer’s identity and lead a group escape back to England, with a whole army of foes nipping at his heels.
Book 10
In the Pacific during WWII, Billy Boyle must discover if skipper, and future president, Jack Kennedy is a cold-blooded killer.

1943: In the midst of the brutal, hard-fought Solomon Islands campaign between the Allies and the Japanese forces, Lieutenant Billy Boyle receives an odd assignment: he’s sent by the powerful Kennedy family to investigate a murder in which PT skipper (and future president) Jack Kennedy has been implicated. The victim is a native coastwatcher, an allied intelligence operative, whom Kennedy discovered on the island of Tulagi with his head bashed in. That’s Kennedy’s story, anyhow.

Kennedy was recovering in the Navy hospital on the island after the sinking of his PT-109 motor torpedo boat. The military hasn’t decided yet whether to make him a hero for surviving the attack, or have him court-martialed for losing the boat, and the last thing the Kennedy clan wants is a murder charge hanging over his head. Billy knows firsthand that he shouldn’t trust Jack: the man is a charmer, a womanizer, and, when it suits his needs, a liar. But would he kill someone in cold blood? And if so, why? The first murder is followed by two more, and to find the killer, Billy must sort through a tangled, shifting web of motives and identities, even as combat rages all around him.
Book 9
The fog of war surrounding D-Day and Operation Tiger provides cover for one of Billy Boyle’s grisliest investigations.

When an unidentified corpse washes ashore at Slapton Sands on England’s southern coast, US Army Captain Billy Boyle and his partner, Lieutenant Piotr “Kaz” Kazimierz, are assigned to investigate. The Devonshire beach is the home to Operation Tiger, the top-secret rehearsal for the approaching D-Day invasion of Normandy, and the area is restricted; no one seems to know where the corpse could have come from. Luckily, Billy and Kaz have a comfortable place to lay their heads at the end of the day: Kaz’s old school chum David lives close by and has agreed to host the two men during their investigation. Glad for a distraction from his duties, Billy settles into life at David’s family’s fancy manor, Ashcroft, and makes it his mission to get to know its intriguing cast of characters.

Just when Billy and Kaz begin to wrap up their case, they find themselves with not one soggy corpse on their hands but hundreds following a terrible tragedy during the D-Day rehearsal. To complicate things, life at Ashcroft has been getting tense: secret agendas, buried histories, and family grudges abound. Then one of the men meets a sudden demise. Was it a heart attack? Or something more sinister?
Book 8
March, 1944: US Army Lieutenant Billy Boyle, back in England after a dangerous mission in Italy, is due for a little R&R, and also a promotion. But the now-Captain Boyle doesn’t get to kick back and enjoy his leisure time because two upsetting cases fall into his lap at once.

The first is a personal request from an estranged friend: Sergeant Eugene “Tree” Jackson, who grew up with Billy in Boston, is part of the 617th Tank Destroyers, the all-African American battalion poised to make history by being the US Army’s first combatant African American company. But making history isn’t easy, and the 617 faces racism at every turn. One of Tree’s men, a gunner named Angry Smith, has been arrested for a crime he almost certainly didn’t commit, and faces the gallows if the real killer isn’t found. Tree knows US top brass won’t care about justice in this instance, and asks Billy if he’ll look into it.

But Billy can’t use any of his leave to investigate, because British intelligence agent Major Cosgrove puts him on a bizarre and delicate case. A British accountant has been murdered in an English village, and he may or may not have had some connection with the US Army—Billy doesn’t know, because Cosgrove won’t tell him. Billy is supposed to go into the village and investigate the murder, but everything seems fishy—he’s not allowed to interrogate certain key witnesses, and his friends and helpers keep being whisked away. Billy is confused about whether Cosgrove even wants him to solve the murder, and why.

The good news is the mysterious murder gives Billy an excuse to spend time in and around the village where Tree and his unit are stationed. If he’s lucky, maybe he can get to the bottom of both mysteries—and save more than one innocent life.
Book 7
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?
Book 7
Will Billy risk everything to save his girlfriend, a British spy, even possibly getting the Vatican involved in the war?

When an American monsignor with high-level political contacts is found murdered at the foot of Death’s Door, one of the five entrances to Saint Peter’s Basilica, Lieutenant Billy Boyle is put on the case. To solve this murder, Boyle first has to be 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—further complicated by the Vatican’s tenuous status as neutral territory in German-occupied Rome.

But Boyle’s ready to risk it all because of one simple fact: Diane Seaton, his lover and a British spy, has gone missing while undercover in the Vatican. After he discovers that she’s being held in the infamous Regina Coeli prison, just a short walk from the Vatican border, Boyle must decide whether he dares attempt a rescue, even though a failed effort would alert the Germans to his mission and risk an open violation of Vatican neutrality.
Book 6
In his sixth investigation, Lieutenant Billy Boyle finds himself in pursuit of a serial killer with a particularly frightening agenda.
 
1943: US Army Lieutenant Billy Boyle, an ex-cop who serves as detective for General Ike, is sent to Caserta, Italy, to investigate the murders of two American officers stationed there. The MOs are completely different, and it seems like the officers had no connection to each other, but one frightening fact links the murders. Each body was discovered with a single playing card: the lieutenant’s with the ten of hearts; the captain’s, the jack of hearts. The message seems clear—if the murderer isn’t apprehended, the higher ranks will be next. As the invasion at Anzio begins, Billy needs to keep a cool head amidst fear and terror as the killer calculates his next moves.
Book 5
The fifth Billy Boyle investigation

American Lieutenant Billy Boyle is assigned to London by his uncle, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, to investigate the murder of a Russian security officer in the buildup to D-Day. Billy recognizes that this is a politically charged case, pitting Allies against one another, and that he must proceed with caution. The Polish contingent is incensed over evidence that implicates the Russians in the murder of hundreds of Polish prisoners in the so-called Katyn Forest Massacre, and Scotland Yard thinks this murder of a Soviet officer may be a revenge killing—perhaps perpetrated by Billy’s friend Kaz, a Polish baron in exile. But Billy doesn’t buy it. Can he find the real murderer, exonerate his friend, and prevent Allied relations from falling to pieces at this critical moment of the war?
Book 4
Irish-American Army Lieutenant Detective Billy Boyle returns to his family’s homeland only to get sucked into a complex web of wartime intrigue.

Autumn, 1943: Fifty Browning Automatic Rifles and thousands of rounds of ammunition have been stolen from a US Army base in Northern Ireland. A few miles from the depot, the body of a known IRA man has been found with a bullet in the head and a pound note in his hand—the mark of an informer. 

Fearing a German-sponsored IRA uprising, General Eisenhower, Billy’s uncle by marriage, sends him to recover the weapons before more damage is done. Billy searched for the missing weapons with the help of a beautiful Irish woman, an officer in British intelligence. Soldiers of the US Army, members of the Royal Ulster Constabulary, as well as of local Protestant societies, and local Catholic laymen all come under suspicion. Bodies begin to accumulate, and Billy finds unexpected challenges to his Boston-Irish upbringing and his own IRA sympathies. There are rogues on both sides, he learns.
Book 3
With a case of amnesia, will Billy remember who he is and what is his mission, before more people are killed?

Billy Boyle has been landed in Sicily in advance of the main Allied invasion forces. But when he awakens in a field hospital after suffering a concussion, he has amnesia. He doesn’t know who he is or where he is, much less what his mission is. His only clue is that he possesses a yellow silk handkerchief embroidered with the initial L and a lot of people seem to be eager to get their hands on this talisman.

As Billy gradually recovers his memory, he recalls that he is his “Uncle” Ike’s personal investigator in the European Theater of War. Before Billy can remember the dangerous task that has been entrusted to him and do his best to carry it out, several people are murdered. Those opposing him include members of various factions of the American Mafia, as well as soldiers of the German and Italian Armies.

Billy finally remembers his name, but to truly resolve the question of his identity he must dig deep into his soul to discover what kind of man he is.
Book 2
The second Billy Boyle investigation

Billy Boyle is dispatched to help arrange the surrender of Vichy French forces in Algeria. But dissension among the regular army, the militia, and De Gaulle’s Free French forces allows black marketers in league with the Germans to divert medical supplies, leading to multiple murders. Billy must find the killers and rescue the woman he loves, a British spy.
Book 1
What’s a twenty-two-year-old Irish American cop who’s never been out of Massachusetts before doing at Beardsley Hall, an English country house, having lunch with King Haakon of Norway? Billy Boyle himself wonders. Back home in Southie, he’d barely made detective when war was declared. Unwilling to fight—and perhaps die—for England, he was relieved when his mother wangled a job for him on the staff of a general married to her distant cousin. But the general turns out to be Dwight D. Eisenhower, whose headquarters are in London, which is undergoing the Blitz. And Uncle Ike wants Billy to be his personal investigator. 
  
Billy is dispatched to the seat of the Norwegian government in exile. Operation Jupiter, the impending invasion of Norway, is being planned, but it is feared that there is a German spy amongst the Norwegians. 
  
Billy doubts his own abilities, with good reason. A theft and two murders test his investigative powers, but Billy proves to be a better detective than he or anyone else expected.

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