22gigantes.com - Billy Boyle, US Army detective and ex-Boston cop, faces his toughest investigation yet: infiltrating enemy lines in France as the Allies invade Normandy.It’s late May 1944. Captain Billy Boyle is court-martialed on spurious charges of black market dealings. Stripped of his officer’s rank, reduced to private, and sentenced to three months’ hard labor, Billy is given an opportunity: he can avoid his punishment if he goes behind enemy lines to rescue a high-value Allied soldier.A secret chamber and tunnels, once used by escaping Huguenots in the 17th century, has since been taken over by the Allies. But this “safe house” on the outskirts of Chaumont turns out to be anything but—two downed airmen, one Canadian and the other American, have been murdered.Billy is flown in as part of a three-man team on June 5, 1944, the night before the Normandy invasion, and must solve the mystery of who is behind the murders before then leading a group escape back to England, with both the Germans and a killer hot on their heels.
Best Review of Blue Madonna (a Billy Boyle Wwii Mystery):
Most helpful customer reviews 2 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Billy Boyle is back.. By Jill Meyer Author James Benn has written 11 "Billy Boyle" novels. They've all been good, except for the last one, which was set in the South Pacific and featured a Navy J/G named Jack Kennedy, who was under investigation for possibly murdering someone. It was a bit of a stretch and I'm glad that "The Blue Madonna" is set back in the ETO.A good novel can teach as well as entertain, and so James Benn does with his newest novel. It's the weeks before D-Day and Billy is arrested for racketeering in stolen goods for resale. The arrest and conviction is bogus and gets Billy "in" with the gangs - both British and American - who are dealing in these goods. This is a set-up to get Billy and his friends to rescue another black marketeer caught behind enemy lines in France. As this is a series book, you can be pretty sure Billy and company will make it out alive, but that's okay, because the story of his behind-the-lines job is quite well written. Benn includes plenty of history in his story, and mentions a small village in France that was destroyed by the Germans in retaliation to French underground activity. (And in case you're interested in that part, find Ethan Mordden's book "One Day in France".)So, Billy Boyle and his associates - including a token appearance by harried "Uncle Ike" - are back. Veteran readers of the series will be pleased by his latest adventure. 1 of 1 people found the following review helpful. WWII fans - don't miss out on this one! Billy at his best! By Barbara McArthur My first James Benn - and my first Billy Boyle...and I loved it. If you're a WWII fan like me, this one has all the ingredients of a great story. What makes it ring with reality is the author's using historic places and facts to weave us a tale. It doesn't take much to captivate me, I guess - a old chateau in France riddled with underground tunnels dating back to the Druids, a couple of feisty women agents, some black market activity to investigate, some loyal French resistance, hidden artwork, a crusty German officer in charge of the small French village (with an agenda of his own) some downed fliers needing to get back to England and the impending Normandy invasion - if these things are your cup of tea - here's a good read! It was for me.There's plenty of tension, as there is always a wireless that threatens to breakdown, leaving them unable to communicate with home base, a new mission, under-staffed and under-gunned - and into this mix, Billy is dropped to find one particular individual, who is the key to an operation at home. Then, to add a little warm and fuzzy, Billy finds that one of the feisty woman agents, code named Juliet, is actually Diana, the love of his life! And they can't let anybody know!What makes this a well-written novel is the comfortable writing style, the well-described characters and the settings. And the ending leaves me set up to wait with baited breath, for the next Billy Boyle adventure!Don't let the year go by without reading this one! 1 of 2 people found the following review helpful. Strong Wartime Story: Adventure, Suspense and Good Writing By Dr. Cathy Goodwin I hadn't read earlier books in the series, and this book may not be the ideal place to meet Billy.The opening completely gripped me. I recommend not reading any reviews: it's best if you get completely surprised. I'm glad I hadn't read any review as I had no idea what was going on. The book opens with Captain Billy placed under arrest, given a kangaroo court trial, and tossed into prison with a bunch of scary people. I was completely riveted through this section.Billy then gets involved with investigating stolen goods. I hadn't thought about this aspect of the war and how black marketers really hurt the war effort.After the first section, I got a little lost with the many characters. It's a wartime adventure story more than a mystery. Benn captures a great deal of history with fascinating details you won't find in the textbooks. The presence of Diana seemed a little too coincidental but after all, it's an adventure story! The suspense is extremely strong. Even though it's a first-person story, I kept waiting for disaster to happen any minute.The author writes well and the pacing is good. I plan to look up earlier volumes in the series and then return to read this one. I suspect readers who know Billy will experience this book with a great deal of pleasure. I'd particularly recommend it for anyone taking a long miserable airplane ride, needing a well-written book as a complete escape. See all 4 customer reviews...
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