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Billy Boyle: a World War II Mystery

October 16, 2011

Billy Boyle: a World War II mystery
James R. Benn
284 pages

I’ve had this one on my shelf for a while- it was a Christmas present from Dad.
Billy Boyle is a cop who joins the army as a lieutenant, is sent to England, and almost immediately feels out of his depth. The English are working with some exiled Norwegians to launch a mission to take back Norway from the Nazis.
But- Billy soon finds something familiar, a murder to investigate.
Told in the first person, sometimes Billy’s obtuseness and tactlessness got frustrating for me. I enjoyed the historical details though, about his time being a cop in South Boston before the war, as well as the war itself.There are more in the series, which I will definitely look for. Hoping Billy gets a little more polished and smoother in his dealings with top brass- his brashness and his dense moments got to me a little.
I learn so much about history from historical fiction. The events in this book were based on an Allied scheme to let the Nazis think there was a mission to Norway. A really elaborate ruse, with troops in cold weather gear, brought the Germans to Norway, and turned the country into a giant POW camp.
That, and a decent whodunnit mystery made for a fun read.

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