Wednesday, September 25, 2019

World at War: Billy Boyle

Billy Boyle (Billy Boyle #1) James R. Benn. 2006. 294 pages. [Source: Library]

First sentence: I typed the date under my name: Lieutenant William Boyle, August 6, 1942.

Premise/plot: Billy Boyle is the lovable, oh-so-human, cop turned soldier starring in James R. Benn’s historical mystery series. Billy is an Irish cop/detective from Boston. After Pearl Harbor, his mom pulls some strings and gets her son an “easy” or “safe” posting. He goes to officer school, becomes a lieutenant, and gets assigned to General Eisenhower’s headquarters in London, England. “Uncle” Ike is pleased to give Boyle a task or two that will utilize his detective skills. His first assignment concerns the Norwegians. He’s told that there is likely a spy among them. He’s also told (by the Norwegians) that a crate or two of gold was stolen during transport—as the government was fleeing for their lives, the treasury was also being transported to safety. But the real investigation is a murder. This will be his first case as lead detective. It is tricky because it’s a delicate political situation. One of the top Norwegians has been murdered. Boyle wants free access to everyone there—regardless to nationality, rank, class, etc. But many answers would be top secret and classified. Can Boyle solve the case? Will justice be done?

My thoughts: I love, love, love this one. I can’t believe this series has been around over a decade and I’m just now hearing about it?! Why did no one tell me?! I love historical fiction. I love books set during the Second World War. I love books set in England. I especially am interested in books about American soldiers serving in England during the war. (My grandfather did.) I love mysteries. This book just screamed out that it was written just for me. Indeed I found it a magical read. I absolutely loved the narrative. Boyle’s voice is unique and charming. I loved the characters—Daphne and Kaz especially. Whether the characters were featured a little or a lot—they felt human and real. The mystery was great. The murder didn’t occur until halfway through which could have proven problematic if the writing wasn’t so wonderful. I “need” all the books in the series.

© 2019 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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