James R. Benn
AUTHOR

James R. Benn

Writing the Billy Boyle World War II mystery series (published by the wonderful folks at Soho Press) has brought me an immense amount of joy. I've gotten to meet people in person and online from all over the world and hear their reactions, feedback, and most importantly, their own stories.

In addition to the Billy Boyle series, two stand-alone books have been published by Open Road Media. On Desperate Ground is a WWII thriller in the grand tradition of Jack Higgins, and Souvenir is an exploration of memory, identity, sorrow and loss during the lifetime of a veteran of the Second World War.

My idea for a historical mystery series set within the Allied High Command during the Second World War began with the first title, Billy Boyle, which takes place in England and Norway in 1942. The second, The First Wave, carries on a few months later during the Allied invasion of French Northwest Africa. The third, Blood Alone continues the story through the Allied invasion of Sicily. In the fourth installment, Evil For Evil, Billy Boyle voyages to his native Ireland. The fifth book in the series deals with the infamous Katyn Massacre of Polish Officers by the Soviets, and how the uncovering of that crime affected the war, especially Polish-Americans and the Poles in exile in England. It is titled Rag and Bone (from the Yeats poem).

Number six, titled A Mortal Terror, is set in southern Italy and within the Anzio Beachhead, where Billy tracks down the Red Heart Killer, who is targeting officers of increasingly senior rank. Mortal terror deals with combat fatigue and the terrible effects of prolonged exposure to the not only combat but the rigors of winter in the mountains.

Death's Door (#7) takes Billy into occupied Rome, to investigate the murder of an American monsignor within the walls of the neutral Vatican City. In the 8th installment, A Blind Goddess, Billy is back in England prior to D-Day and working to clear a black GI of murder charges.

The Rest is Silence (#9) was released on 9/2/14 and features the disaster surrounding Operation Tiger, a D-Day training event at Slapton Sands in southwest England that went terribly wrong. The tenth Billy Boyle novel, The White Ghost, takes him to distant waters in the South Pacific. Number 11, Blue Madonna, finds Billy Boyle behind enemy lines on the eve of D-Day. Book #12, The Devouring, takes Billy and Kaz to the supposedly neutral nation of Switzerland, where they find the Gestapo, gold, and greed.

The thirteenth novel, Solemn Graves, will be released on September 4, 2018.

I live on the Gulf Coast of Florida and Hadlyme, Connecticut, with my wife Deborah Mandel, a psychotherapist and writer who offers many insights into the motivations of my characters, a good critical read, and much else. We have two sons and seven grandchildren.

I'm a graduate of the University of Connecticut and received my MLS degree from Southern Connecticut State University. I am a member of the Mystery Writers of America, and the Author's Guild. I worked in the library and information technology fields for over thirty-five years before retiring to work full-time.

I've learned two valuable lessons since I started writing which have helped me greatly. The first is a quote from Oscar Wilde, who said "The art of writing is the art of applying the seat of one's pants to a chair." The second is from novelist Rachel Basch, who told me "the story has to move down, as well as forward." Both sound simple. Neither is.

Read more Read less
You're getting a free audiobook.
$14.95 per month after 30 days. Cancel anytime.

Best Sellers

    • Blood Alone

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
    • Length: 12 hrs and 16 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 102
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 84
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83

    Billy Boyle awakens in a field hospital in Sicily with amnesia. In his pocket is a yellow silk handkerchief embroidered with the initial L....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • The best yet

    • By Linda on 08-28-12

    Regular price: $24.95

    • Death's Door

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery, Book 7
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
    • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 57
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 53
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 54

    Lieutenant Billy Boyle could have used a rest after his last case. But then his girlfriend, Diana Seaton, a British spy, goes missing in the Vatican....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Very enjoyable

    • By Linda on 10-14-14

    Regular price: $27.97

    • A Blind Goddess

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery, Book 8
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
    • Length: 10 hrs and 13 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 54
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 50
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 51

    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....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Billy Boyle Army Detective

    • By Queen of Everything on 05-09-15

    Regular price: $23.07

    • Solemn Graves

    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
    • Length: 12 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 29
    • Performance
      5 out of 5 stars 27
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 26

    July, 1944, a full month after D-Day. Billy, Kaz, and Big Mike are assigned to investigate a double murder close to the front lines in Normandy. An American officer and a member of the French Resistance were found dead in a manor house outside the town of Trevieres....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great Installment

    • By Gary L. Richardson on 10-09-18

    Regular price: $27.99

    • The Devouring

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
    • Length: 10 hrs and 58 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 33
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 32
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 31

    A murder in wartime Switzerland reveals Swiss complicity with the Nazis and profiteering during World War II....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Historic Fiction at its finest

    • By ScottG on 10-29-17

    Regular price: $27.99

    • The First Wave

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
    • Length: 11 hrs and 5 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 125
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 95
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 95

    Billy's task is to help arrange the surrender of the Vichy French forces in Algeria....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Another Good Billy Boyle

    • By Wolfpacker on 05-27-12

    Regular price: $24.95

    • Billy Boyle

    • A World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
    • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 203
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 151
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 151

    What's a 22-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.....

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • Best Kept Secret

    • By Mary on 11-23-10

    Regular price: $24.95

    • Rag and Bone

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
    • Length: 12 hrs and 35 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 99
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 75
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 73

    Billy is sent to London in the midst of a Luftwaffe bombing offensive to investigate the murder of a Soviet official....

    Regular price: $21.95

    • Evil for Evil

    • A Billy Boyle World War II Mystery
    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Marc Vietor
    • Length: 13 hrs and 27 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 99
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 79
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 79

    Fifty BARs (Browning automatic rifles) have been stolen from a U.S. army base in Northern Ireland.....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Maybe the Best Billy Boyle Book

    • By Wolfpacker on 05-27-12

    Regular price: $24.95

    • Blue Madonna

    • By: James R. Benn
    • Narrated by: Peter Berkrot
    • Length: 10 hrs and 39 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 45
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 42

    Billy Boyle, US Army detective and ex-Boston cop, faces his toughest investigation yet: infiltrating enemy lines in France as the Allies invade Normandy....

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • So good.

    • By David on 09-21-16

    Regular price: $27.99

Are you an author?

Help us improve our Author Pages by updating your bibliography and submitting a new or current image and biography.