A Billy Boyle, World War II Mystery by James R. Benn
Review: It is early 1944, and Billy Boyle, a lieutenant serving in the US Army during World War II, is sent together with his friend Piotr Augustus "Kaz" Kazimierz, a lieutenant with the Polish Army in exile, to Rome to investigate a murder in the Vatican in Death's Door, the seventh mystery in this series by James R. Benn.
The two men go undercover as priests, following Billy's girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy who has preceded them, disguised as a nun on a separate mission. She, however, has been captured and sent to a prison in Rome, her current status unknown. Billy's orders, however, are quite clear: he is not to search for Diana as doing so may lead to complications in other covert operations underway, and focus on the mission at hand, the murder of Monsignor Edward Corrigan, an American, who was found at Death's Door in the Vatican, one of only five entrances into Saint Peter's Basilica. Though the Vatican is considered neutral territory, it is surrounded by German-occupied Rome; the Germans allow transit to and from the city, but monitor everyone's movements. Surely they must have seen something. There is no obvious link between Diana's capture and the murder of Msgr. Corrigan, but Billy — who rarely believes in coincidences — thinks there may be one.
This latest entry in the series is every bit as good the previous ones. The characters are well-developed, and the comradeship between Billy and Kaz is a terrific balance to the often uncertain relationships they have with the people they meet. The real people from history — and there are a few — are seamlessly integrated into the nicely crafted murder mystery storyline. The "Billy Boyle, World War II" mysteries are among the most consistently well written and researched crime novels published today, and are highly recommended.
Special thanks to guest reviewer Betty of The Betz Review for contributing her review of Death's Door.
Acknowledgment: Soho Press provided an ARC of Death's Door for this review.
Review Copyright © 2012 — Hidden Staircase Mystery Books — All Rights Reserved
Selected reviews of other mysteries by this author …
A Mortal Terror
Soho Crime (Hardcover), September 2011
ISBN-13: 9781569479940; ISBN-10: 1569479941
A Blind Goddess
Soho Crime (Hardcover), September 2013
ISBN-13: 9781616951924; ISBN-10: 1616951923
Location(s) referenced in Death's Door: Italy
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Death's Door by James R. Benn — A Billy Boyle, World War II Mystery
Publisher: Soho Crime
Publication Date: September 2012
List Price: $25.00
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Page Author: Lance Wright
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